News|Top Story

Oklahoma City’s Scheduled Execution: Michael Dewayne Smith’s Case

Oklahoma is preparing to carry out the execution of Michael Dewayne Smith, 41, for the fatal shootings of Janet Moore, 41, and Sharath Pulluru, 22, in Oklahoma City over twenty years ago.

Scheduled for Thursday, Smith’s execution by lethal injection comes after his conviction and death sentence for the two separate shootings in February 2002.

If the execution proceeds, Smith will be the first person put to death in Oklahoma this year and the twelfth since the state resumed executions in 2021 after a nearly seven-year hiatus due to issues with executions in 2014 and 2015.

In a clemency hearing last month, Smith offered his “deepest apologies and deepest sorrows to the families” of the victims but maintained his innocence.

“I didn’t commit these crimes. I didn’t kill these people,” Smith stated, occasionally becoming emotional during his 15-minute address to the board. “I was high on drugs. I don’t even remember getting arrested.”

Despite his plea, the board denied Smith clemency in a 4-1 vote.

According to prosecutors, Smith, identified as a ruthless gang member, committed both murders as acts of revenge. They allege that he confessed his role in the killings to the police and two others.

In the case of Janet Moore’s murder, prosecutors assert that Smith targeted her because he believed her son had disclosed information to the police about his whereabouts, although this was reportedly a mistaken belief. Later that same day, Smith allegedly killed Sharath Pulluru, a convenience store clerk, whom he perceived as disrespecting his gang during an interview with a newspaper reporter.

Smith’s attorney, Mark Henricksen, contended that Smith suffers from intellectual disability, exacerbated by extensive drug abuse over the years. He advocated for sparing Smith’s life, proposing that he be sentenced to life imprisonment instead. Henricksen emphasized that Smith was under the influence of PCP when he confessed to the police and highlighted discrepancies between his confession and factual evidence.

Kindly share this story:
Kindly share this story:
Share on whatsapp
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on facebook
Top News

Related Articles