APPEALS court denies death sentence appeal

Wednesday, August 22nd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DENVER (AP) _ The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday upheld the death sentence of a man convicted in the 1987 stabbing death of his estranged wife.

Jackie Eugene Humphreys, who was sentenced to death in Oklahoma, appealed to the court arguing that errors were made at a 1995 re-sentencing hearing.

The appeals court affirmed the decision of a lower court and denied his claims for relief.

A jury convicted Humphreys of first-degree murder in the death of his estranged common law wife, Bessie Phipps.

According to court records, Humphreys found Phipps at a bar in Henryetta, Okla., on New Year's Day, 1987, and stabbed her five times. She bled to death on the way to the hospital.

The couple reportedly had a violent relationship and Humphreys allegedly had once threatened to kill Phipps if she ever left him.

Humphreys had a history of legal trouble and was released from a prison term on assault charges 13 days before Phipps' slaying.