Roger Lee Ramsey’s sworn information identifies Justin Sneed as the person who decided to murder an Oklahoma City Inn-keeper in 1997
In 2016, a man named Roger Lee Ramsey resided at 128 E. 17 Street in Wewoka, Oklahoma. He was visited by Donald Knight and Ashley Cusick, who introduced themselves as the attorney and investigator representing Richard Glossip.In a voluntary exchange with the pair, Ramsey told his story. From a transcript I studied, with minor editing, his affidavit follows:
“I was in the Oklahoma County Jail from September of 1996 to May of 1997. I was in jail when a man named Justin Sneed was brought to the unit I was on. We were on that unit together until I was transferred to the DOC in May. Sneed and I were on the same floor the entire time we were in the jail. For a portion of our time together, I believe we shared a cell.
“During our time there, Sneed and I were in an area where medical patients were cared for. People were there for all kinds of reasons. I think the jail wanted to make it easier for the doctors and nurses to come in and hand out the pills to everyone at once. I was on the medical floor because I’d had a heart attack in 1995. I don’t remember why Sneed was on that floor, but I do recall that he was taking medication. I’m not sure what medications he was on but it might have had something to do with seizures or some kind of mental health problem.
“I also know that Sneed was pretty strung out at the jail. I could tell he was strung out on dope as soon as I met him because I used to use meth myself. Junkies know junkies. Sneed told me that he used meth as well, including intravenously. As a former meth user, I can tell you that it takes a while for it to get out of your system. You feel the effects for some time. It took me 7 or 8 months to overcome it when I quit.
“Sneed and I were around each other for a while. I talked to him daily. Sneed told me that he was the one that killed the motel man. He said it was a robbery that went wrong and he ended up stabbing and beating the guy to death. He beat him with a ball bat. He said the man he killed didn’t want to give the money up.
“This was not something where I met Sneed 15 minutes ago and he told me. There was a camaraderie developed between us over days and days of talking. When Sneed told me about what happened in the motel room, he used ‘we’ to imply that he was in the room with another person who was also involved in the murder. Sneed never told me who this person was. He did not say whether this person was a man or a woman. Sneed told me that one of the two was the maintenance man at the motel. That’s how they knew the old guy carried a lot of money.
“Sneed did make it clear to me that he was the one who killed the victim. He said he and the person he did this with were supposed to lure the victim into the room and then rob him. Sneed told me that they didn’t plan to kill the man — they were just going to take the money out of the guy’s pocket– but that the robbery went bad. At one point when telling this story Sneed did mention that there was a woman involved. I don’t know whether she was in the room. She was his girlfriend, his wife, or maybe a dope whore.
“Sneed never mentioned anything about Richard Glossip or anyone else paying or hiring him to commit this crime. Sneed never even said the name Richard Glossip to me, but he did make a reference to someone named Richard. He said that was the person he’d pointed the finger at in this crime. Sneed told me that he was mad at Richard so he was blaming him. I can’t recall why he was blaming Richard, but Sneed said naming Richard was a ‘get-even’ kind of thing. I felt like that was kind of sorry, to name someone in a crime like that to get even.
“Sneed’s story changed two or three times over the time I knew him. During that time, there were different placements of the people involved, and what their involvement was. But I was talking to Sneed during the time when he was coming off of drugs. I think those different versions were because he was coming off of the drugs. If you get really gacked out on dope and go kill a guy, your immediate thought is going to be to find justification for what you’ve done. Then it’s going to be to get the hell out of there.
“In my experience, you’ll have really scattered thoughts when coming off of dope. When you’re high and you make things up to start, you’ll probably overlook the made-up parts in later stories. That’s why I was never doubtful when Sneed said he killed the victim because after he was off the drugs, there was never any variation in the story: saying that the man was lured into his bedroom by Sneed and the other person because they wanted to ambush and rob him, that the robbery went bad, and then Sneed killed him. That tells me that the story was the truth.
“Sneed did try to justify this crime to me. He said the man shouldn’t have fought back. Sneed showed no remorse. It was like, ‘Well, the guy shouldn’t have fought us on robbing him. He should have just given up the money and moved on: There was a nonchalant attitude coming from Sneed, like that all of the time. During the time that I was with him, Sneed had a different kind of character.
“His thought process was not like maybe yours or mine. He really thought it was ok that the guy had been killed. It was not a big deal to him. The first time I was contacted by anyone about this case was when Mr. Knight came to visit me in 2016. I had this statement read aloud to me and I swear under penalty of perjury that it is true and complete to the best of my knowledge.”
The document related to the foregoing information was attested to by Roger Lee Ramsey on June 16, 2016. There are other documents becoming available in the days leading up to a widely anticipated meeting of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals this week, at which time, the members of the court will consider a request, submitted by Mr. Knight and 61 members of the State Legislature, asked for a full-scale evidentiary hearing over massive new information in the case of Oklahoma death row inmate Richard Glossip.