Judge takes murder case from deadlocked jury to impose life sentence
By Kristi Eaton The Oklahoman June 24, 2006
ADA - District Judge Tom Landrith sentenced Glen Dale Gore to life in prison without parole Friday morning after jurors failed to reach a decision in 10½ hours of deliberation. At 2:30 a.m. Landrith refused to allow the jury more time and pronounced the sentence himself. The jury was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of the death penalty, prosecutor Richard Wintory said.
Gore, 45, was convicted Wednesday of the rape and murder of 21-year-old Deborah Sue Carter in 1982. Gore was convicted of the crime previously and was sentenced to death, but that conviction was overturned and a new trial was ordered.
Peggy Sanders, Carter's mother, was upset Gore did not get the death penalty.
"I'm right back where I was 24 years ago," she said. "I just keep on hurting because justice was not served."
Landrith said the jury had a reasonable amount of time to reach a verdict.
Wintory said that when the jury returned to the courtroom, the foreman and the juror who was not voting for the death penalty asked for five more minutes. The judge denied the request.
"It was frustrating," Wintory said. "The jury had been 11 to 1 for many hours, so Landrith decided to take the case from the jury and discharge them."
According to state statutes, when a judge takes the case from the jury, he has the option of giving life in prison or life in prison without parole. Landrith said he formally sentenced Gore to expedite the process.
Cheryl Ramsey, Gore's co-counsel, said the defense was ecstatic with the outcome.
"We're thrilled Judge Landrith took the case," she said. "We're thankful that one juror believed in Glen."
Ramsey said she was disappointed the jury had come back with a guilty verdict on Wednesday but was happy Gore was spared his life.
Throughout the evening, Ramsey said the jury had asked for certificates relating to work and courses Gore had completed while in prison. They also asked for photos from the crime scene, she said.
Sanders did not want life in prison for Gore because it would not allow her to put her daughter to rest, she said.
"Everyone says 'Well, it's OK if he gets life,'" she said. "But it's not."
Many of the jurors stayed after to talk with Sanders and many were crying, she said. "They all told me they were so upset."
Sanders said she is not angry with Landrith but is not sure how she feels about the juror who held out.
During the trial, experts testified that semen and five of the 17 hairs tested for DNA belonged to Gore.
Sanders and Carter's father, Charlie Carter, sat in the courtroom each day, but Sanders was not in the courtroom Wednesday.
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