Man executed for 1990 double homicide

Tuesday, May 27th 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) _ A man who killed at least five people became the eighth person executed in Oklahoma this year when he was put to death Tuesday for murdering a Noble County couple in 1990.

Robert Knighton, 62, was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m., shortly after the fatal drug injection began.

Knighton shot and killed Richard and Virginia Denney at their farm near Tonkawa on Jan. 8, 1990, during a three-day crime spree that began with the murders and robbery of two men in Clinton, Mo.

He and two co-defendants came away from the Denney residence with $61 and a beat-up pickup truck.

Among the witnesses on Knighton's behalf was Sue Norton of Arkansas City, Kan., the adopted daughter of Richard Denney. Norton forgave and befriended Knighton during his trial had been in McAlester since last week to spend time with him before his death.

``This is the first time in his life that he feels like he's doing something right,'' Norton said the day before the execution. ``It took him this to realize he spent over 50 of his years living totally against God.''

Norton's sister, Maudie Nichols of Oxford, Kan., also planned to attend. Denney's biological daughter, Nichols forgave Knighton at his clemency hearing last week but has said he should pay for the murders with his life.

``I think anybody that does any kind of crime should have to stand accountable for what they do,'' she said. ``I don't make the laws.''