Inmate faces execution over girlfriend’s 1984 murder in Oklahoma

An Oklahoma jury sentenced Thomas Clyde Davidson to death for the 1985 kidnapping and death of his girlfriend’s 22-year-old daughter.

Davidson was scheduled to be executed early on Thursday for the 1984 abduction and murder of Jody Ferguson. The body of Ferguson, who was known as Jenie, was found in a marshy area near Tulsa and was burned beyond recognition.

Jenie Ferguson. Her body was found in a marshy area near Tulsa in 1985. Photograph: Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Ferguson’s mother, Christine Ferguson, said she is living on the edge before Davidson is executed by lethal injection. She said she is speaking out for Jenie because she wants Davidson to know how she feels.

“It’s a walk in the park for him, and it wasn’t meant to be,” Ferguson said. “He lost Jody and I’ve lost my child. My life turned upside down. I had a life of easy going when Jenie was living. That’s what I’m living on the edge of. He should never have a chance to hurt anybody else.”

Ferguson said it would be no big deal if Davidson took her life as well.

“I hope that if he needs help, he’ll find it in his heart. I hope that he could find the help that he needs himself,” Ferguson said. “If not, then I do believe that people have mercy. Sometimes good people get to be in front of other good people and they have mercy for someone else.”

Jenie Ferguson. A picture of Jenie Ferguson remains etched on her mother’s heart Photograph: Oklahoma Department of Corrections

On Wednesday, the state executed Ernest Dewayne Johns, who was convicted of the 1996 rape and strangulation of a woman outside a south Oklahoma church. It was his third execution in 11 years, in which the inmate had chewed and threatened corrections staff with broken glass. His third death sentence was upheld by the US supreme court in 2014.

Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt said in a statement that John’s death “is the work of a rapist and murderer. The American people will not ever give up the fight to protect our families from criminals like him.”

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