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Home invasion killer loses final appeal


The U.S. Supreme Court declined Monday to review the case of Oklahoma death row inmate Wendell Arden Grissom, who was convicted of killing a woman during a home invasion in 2005 in Blaine County.

Justices, without comment, upheld Grissom's conviction. Grissom, 50, has now exhausted his appeals and becomes the 20th Oklahoma death row inmate eligible for an execution date when the state of Oklahoma resumes executions.

The state has not carried out an execution since 2015. It abandoned lethal injection as an execution method and has been exploring the use of nitrogen gas.

Grissom was a resident of Arkansas when he and another man invaded a home near Watonga and shot two women. Amber Matthews, of Kingfisher, was killed after being shot twice in the head, once while holding the infant daughter of Drue Kopf, who escaped after being shot. Matthews was 23.

In addition to the death penalty for killing Matthews, Grissom received a life sentence for shooting with intent to kill in the wounding of Kopf. He also received 25 years for grand larceny and 40 years for possessing a firearm after a felony conviction.

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Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›