‘There are too many questions’: Girlfriend of slain Paul Howell pleads to stop Julius Jones death sentence

, ‘There are too many questions’: Girlfriend of slain Paul Howell pleads to stop Julius Jones death sentence, The Evepost BBC News
, ‘There are too many questions’: Girlfriend of slain Paul Howell pleads to stop Julius Jones death sentence, The Evepost BBC News

Oklahoma death row inmate Julius Jones is a “human being” who deserves the “mercy” of state authorities, the girlfriend of the slain Paul Howell told an appeals board on Monday, arguing that there are enough doubts about how Howell’s high-profile murder case was investigated and prosecuted that Jones’s upcoming execution for the crime should be avoided.

Jones is set to be executed on 18 November for the 1999 murder of Paul Howell, a businessman in the Oklahoma City suburbs, and has maintained his innocence for the last two decades, claiming police misconduct and a rushed, racist trial. On Monday, he made a final appeal to Oklahoma parole authorities for clemency from Oklahoma governor Kevin Stitt.

Connie Ellison, Howell’s girlfriend at the time of the slaying, said she willingly risked destroying her relationship with the Howell family to testify in Jones’s defense at the appeal.

“There are too many questions and too much doubt about Julius’s guilty to allow the state of Oklahoma to execute him in just over 2 weeks,” she told the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board on Monday morning, choking back emotions. “I have experienced both sides of this case, and I believe in my heart that Julius Jones does not deserve death at the hands of other human beings who might even have doubts of their own. It would be a catastrophic mistake to execute a man whose guilt is not conclusive. I believe that Paul Howell would not want that, and neither do I.”

, ‘There are too many questions’: Girlfriend of slain Paul Howell pleads to stop Julius Jones death sentence, The Evepost BBC News

Ms Ellison spoke of how she’s not a member of the growing “Justice for Julius” movement, and doesn’t necessarily agree that Jones is an innocent man. Instead, she recounted an emotional visit to Jones on death row at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary convinced her execution wasn’t warranted.

“Julius is, at the very least, a human being….Even though I know I would lose my treasured friendship with Megan [, Howell’s sister,] and the Howell family, I had to speak my truth today,” she said. “I deeply loved and cherished Paul Howell, and I am still tormented by his tragic death. I am here today to ask for mercy.”

More details to come on this breaking news story…