by Robert A. Waters
A recent Los Angeles Times story about the “botched” execution of Clayton Lockett gave exactly one sentence to his victim, Stephanie Nieman. That’s why I decided to publish the other side of the story. (WARNING: This material is extremely graphic.)
On June 3, 1999, an innocent victim stared evil in the face. Nineteen-year-old Stephanie Neiman had just graduated from Perry High School in Oklahoma where she played saxophone in the high school band.
The following court document describes the full story of her murder.
“At around 10:30 p.m. on June 3, 1999, Bobby Bornt was asleep on the couch at his home in Perry, Oklahoma, when his front door was kicked in. Three men, Appellant [Clayton Lockett], Shawn Mathis, and Alfonzo Lockett, entered his house and immediately started beating and kicking him. Bornt recognized Appellant because Appellant had recently covered a tattoo for him. Appellant was carrying a shotgun which he used to hit Bornt. After the beating, Bornt’s attackers used duct tape to secure his hands behind his back and they gagged him and left him on the couch while they ransacked the house looking for drugs. As Bornt lay restrained on the couch, his friend Angel Hart [name has been changed] approached the open door. She was pulled inside, hit in the face and thrown against a wall. One of the men put a gun to her head and ordered her to call her friend, Stephanie Nieman, who was outside sitting in her pickup. When Nieman came inside, they hit her several times to get the keys to her pickup and the code to disarm the alarm on her pickup.
“The men put all three victims in the bedroom where Bornt’s nine-month old son, Sam, had been sleeping. Alfonzo Lockett came into the bedroom and got Hart. He took her into the bathroom where he made her perform oral sodomy on him. He then took her into Bornt’s bedroom where he told her to get undressed and raped her. When he was finished, he left her there and Appellant came into the bedroom. He raped her vaginally and anally and he made her perform oral sodomy on him. When he was finished, he told her to get dressed and she went back into Sam’s bedroom with the others. Alfonzo Lockett came into the bedroom and used duct tape to secure Hart’s and Nieman’s hands behind their backs. He also put tape across their mouths.
“Appellant instructed Mathis to look in the garage for a shovel. When he returned with a shovel, the victims were loaded into Bornt’s and Nieman’s pickups. Bornt and his son were placed in his pickup with Appellant. Hart and Nieman were placed in Nieman’s pickup with Mathis and Alfonzo Lockett. They took off driving with Apellant in the lead. They left Perry and drove to a rural area in Kay County. Appellant stopped on a country road where he got out of the pickup he was driving and went over to Nieman’s pickup. He made Hart get out and go with him to a ditch where he raped her and forced her to perform oral sex on him. When he was finished, he took her back to Bornt’s pickup. While Hart was sitting in the pickup, Mathis got her and took her back to Nieman’s pickup where he made her perform oral sex on him. He grabbed her by her head and said, ‘In order for you to live, this is what you have got to do.’
“While stopped on the country road, Apellant told Mathis to get the shovel and start digging. When Mathis was digging in the ditch, Bornt heard Appellant say, ‘Someone has got to go.’ Nieman was taken to the hole dug by Mathis and Appellant shot her. The gun jammed and Appellant came back to the pickup to fix it. While he was doing this, Bornt heard Neiman’s muffled screams. When the gun was fixed, Appellant went back to the ditch and shot Nieman again. While Mathis buried Nieman’s body, Apellant and Alfonzo Lockett warned Bornt and Hart that if they told anyone they would be killed, too…”
Bornt, Hart, and Sam were released. The next day, Bornt and Hart reported the murder to police. An autopsy revealed that Nieman had been buried alive.
Lawmen arrested Clayton Lockett and he quickly confessed. This senseless murder of a completely innocent victim outraged the community and Lockett was sentenced to death, while Alfonzo Lockett and Mathis received life.
Stephanie’s mother and father, Susie and Steve Nieman, later wrote of their loss: “Every day we are left with horrific images of what the last hours of Stephanie’s life was like. Did she cry out for us to help her? We are left with the knowledge that she needed us and we were not aware of it therefore unable [to] help her.
“We go through the motions of living, we eat, we sleep, Steve goes to work and comes home again. We do what we have to do to make it through the day and we start all over again the next. We exist.
“We were left with an empty home full of memories and the deafening silence of the lack of life within it’s [sic] walls. We have moved, but in our new home Stephanie also has a bedroom which is filled with her treasures and belongings.”