Inmate Executed For Murder Of Tulsa Convenience Store Clerk

Thursday, January 6th 2011, 7:53 am
By: News On 6

MCALESTER, Oklahoma -- A Tulsa County death row inmate was executed Thursday evening for the 1995 murder of a convenience store clerk. 

A state Department of Corrections spokesman says Billy Don Alverson was pronounced dead at 6:10 p.m. Thursday at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary.

Alverson was convicted of first-degree murder for the Feb. 26, 1995, killing of 30-year-old Richard Yost, who was the night manager of the QuikTrip on North Garnett in Tulsa. His body was found bound and beaten on the blood-soaked floor of the store's cooler.

"I would like to say to the Yost family I'm sorry, please forgive me," Alverson said. "And to my own family, I'm alright."

Afterward, Yost's widow, Angela Houser-Yost, issued a statement in which she offered condolences to Alverson's family.

"There are no winners tonight. Each of us from both sides of the family have lost," she said. "The choices Billy made almost 16 years ago have brought us here, understanding this execution will not bring Richard back nor will it give me the closure that I am looking for. To be honest I do not know if I will ever have true closure."

The U.S. Supreme Court denied Alverson's final appeal back in November and in December, the state Pardon and Parole Board denied him clemency.   

12/15/2010 Related story: Clemency Denied For Tulsa Man On Oklahoma's Death Row

Alverson is one of four men convicted in Yost's death.  His three co-defendants also were sentenced to death. One of them, 31-year-old Darwin Brown, was executed in January 2009.

The Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center says Alverson is the first person to be executed in the U.S. this year.