Executed March 1, 2001 by Lethal Injection in Oklahoma
W / M / 24 - 40 W / F / 19
16th murderer executed in U.S. in 2001
699th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
9th murderer executed in Oklahoma in 2001
39th murderer executed in Oklahoma since 1976
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Robert William Clayton
Rhonda Kay Timmons
Apartment groundskeeper came upon victim sunbathing, beat her, stabbed her, then strangled her with bathing suit. Bloody sock found at his home and knife found in backyard. Admitted stabbing claiming she made sexual advances. IQ 68; Insanity defense rejected; Postconviction DNA confirmed guilt.
W / M / 24 - 40
W / F / 19
Clayton v. State, 840 P2d 18 (Okla. 1992), cert. denied 507 US 1008 (1993).
Clayton v. State, 892 P2d 646 (Okla. 1995).
Clayton v. Gibson, 199 F3d 1162 (10th Cir. 1999).
Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Oklahoma Attorney General
02-07-2001 - W.A. Drew Edmondson, Attorney General - Clayton Execution Scheduled for March 1
The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals today set a March 1 execution date for Tulsa death row inmate Robert William Clayton. Clayton, 40, murdered 19-year-old Rhonda Timmons on June 25, 1985, in her Tulsa apartment. She was stabbed 12 times in the chest, neck, side and arms and suffered a fracture to the front of her skull and a large bruise to the back of her head.
Clayton was given a 30-day reprieve Jan. 3 by Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin when misplaced evidence from his case was discovered. Clayton was scheduled to be executed Jan. 4, but the execution was stayed to allow the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to perform DNA testing on that evidence. On Jan. 16, Edmondson was notified that the OSBI's DNA testing reconfirmed Clayton as the murderer. That same day, Edmondson asked the governor to dissolve the stay. On Jan. 19, Fallin dissolved the death row inmate's stay of execution and Edmondson asked the court to set a new execution date.
"Also on Jan. 16, Clayton's attorney obtained an order from the District Court of Tulsa County allowing him until Jan. 29 to conduct independent DNA testing on the misplaced evidence," said Edmondson. "Results of that test have not been provided to this office, leading us to believe that the independent testing only confirmed what we already knew - Robert Clayton is guilty of the murder of Rhonda Timmons." In today's order, the court gave Clayton 10 days to file a response detailing why his execution should not proceed as scheduled. "I think it's reasonable to conclude that if the independent testing cast any doubt whatsoever on Clayton's guilt the defense would have announced the results," the attorney general said.
Robert Clayton was sentenced to death for a murder committed 15 years ago. Robert William Clayton, 39, was convicted of the 1985 murder of Rhonda Kay Timmons, 19, at a Tulsa apartment complex. Clayton was an apartment complex groundskeeper convicted of killing Timmons around noon on June 25, 1985. Timmons was stabbed repeatedly and suffered a skull fracture to the front of her head. Prosecutors said during his trial that Clayton came upon Timmons as she was sunbathing. He beat her and stabbed her 13 times in the chest, neck, side and arms before strangling her with her bathing suit top. Timmons' husband, Bill, found her in front of their infant son's crib after he came home for lunch about half an hour later. The baby was not injured. The inside of the couple's apartment was covered in blood, authorities said. The child is now 16. Clayton had no previous convictions but testimony at trial implicated him in a robbery in Texas and a rape in Mississippi. At trial, Clayton's defense was that he was psychotic and retarded. Clayton had received a stay of execution so that additional DNA testing could be done, but the stay was lifted on 1/19/01, three days after officials said DNA evidence confirmed Clayton’s guilt. Attorney General Drew Edmondson asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to reschedule Clayton’s execution for Feb. 6th. Fallin had approved the stay after learning that misplaced evidence had been found in an evidence locker in the Tulsa County district attorney’s office. The evidence included a bloody sock, overalls and a knife. The DNA testing was done by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. The OSBI compared a blood stain on the sock worn by Clayton with samples of Timmons’ hair, Edmondson said. The blood on the sock matched the DNA profile of Timmons’ hair samples. The overalls had no blood stains on them because Clayton had washed them after the crime, Edmondson said. He said testimony at the trial was that the sock had fallen next to the washing machine.
Death Penalty Institute of Oklahoma
Robert Clayton, 40, was executed via lethal injection at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. He was pronounced dead at 9:10pm. Clayton was sentenced to death for the June 26, 1985 murder of Rhonda Kay Timmons, 19. Her body was found in her Tulsa apartment near the crib of her unharmed one-year-old son. She had been stabbed, beaten and strangled.
Clayton was the ninth person to be executed by the state of Oklahoma this year. His killing had originally been scheduled for January 4, but he received a stay on January 3 from Lt Governor Mary Fallin. Fallin issued the stay because physical evidence that was used in the trial -- and which had been missing for five years -- was finally located. This evidence was then tested by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) as well as a private organization in California. After the OSBI DNA testing failed to clear Clayton, his execution date was reset.
Vigils were held at over a dozen locations around the state.
The Lamp of Hope (The Oklahoman & Rick Halperin)
March 1, 2001 OKLAHOMA - A man sent to Oklahoma's death chamber 2 months later than planned was executed by injection Thursday for the 1985 killing of a Tulsa woman. Robert William Clayton, 40, was pronounced dead at 9:10 p.m. from a lethal dose of drugs. He was the ninth inmate executed in Oklahoma this year.
Clayton was convicted of murdering Rhonda Timmons, 19, in her apartment. Timmons was stabbed 12 times and was beaten and straggled with her bathing suit top. "I want to say I'm glad I'm leaving this place and I'm going to a better place," Clayton said in his final statement. "I love my family and I'm sorry for this other lady that was killed. "You're still killing an innocent man," he said. "May God have mercy on my soul." The lethal flow of drugs began at 9:07 p.m. Clayton quickly became unconscious and was declared dead 3 minutes later.
He was originally scheduled to be the 1st inmate to be put to death this year, but was granted a stay 1 day before his Jan. 4 execution date. The stay allowed him to pursue DNA tests on lost evidence recovered just days before he was to be strapped to a death row gurney at Oklahoma State Penitentiary. But evidence testing by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation confirmed Clayton as the killer.
Timmons' stepfather and her mother, Pat Bullard, witnessed the execution. "We did not seek revenge with the death of Robert Clayton," Bullard said in a statement. "We sought justice and justice was served." Timmons' husband, Bill, found her when he came home for lunch. The inside of the couple's apartment was covered in blood, authorities said. Their infant son, now a teen-ager, was in a nearby crib. Clayton was an apartment complex groundskeeper. Prosecutors said he came upon Timmons sunbathing and was furious when she rejected his advances. He was convicted shortly after the killing, when DNA tests were not widely used. When the federal portion of his appeals began in the mid-1990s, Clayton sought DNA tests on traces of blood on a knife identified as the murder weapon and on a sock and overalls Clayton supposedly wore. Defense attorneys had said prosecutors relied on blood typing to argue for conviction. Timmons' blood type matched the type from traces of blood on the sock. Attorneys said DNA tests could be more decisive. But the evidence was lost by state officials after his trial. Tulsa County prosecutors located it in early January. Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin, acting in the temporary absence of Gov. Frank Keating, granted the stay. 2 sisters, a cousin, brother-in-law and attorney witnessed the execution on Clayton's behalf. For his last meal, Clayton requested shrimp, oysters, fish with tartar sauce, a 32-ounce creme soda and one strawberry cheese pie.
Clayton becomes the 9th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Oklahoma and the 39th overall since the state resumed capital punishment in 1990. Clayton becomes the 16th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 699th overall since America resumed executions on January 17, 1977.
Canadian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty - Clayton Homepage
11-5-2000 - Open Letter From Robert "Eagle" Clayton to Media
To Whom It May Concern:
Hi! My name is Robert W. “Eagle” Clayton, DOC #151195. I’m on death row in McAlester, Oklahoma. My appeal was denied by the U.S. Supreme Court on October 1, 2000. I have been asking the courts for two things: (1) DNA testing; and (2) A spray that you spray on clothes, etc. . . and it shows if there was blood or anything even if you paint, or wipe off the clothes, etc. . . . All the courts have denied my requests. I believe I have a right to have these tests done but the problem is Tulsa County. They say they never received the evidence from the court reporter. She has a list of everything she turned over and the list was signed by the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department.
These two tests will prove I’m innocent of the crime I am charged with. I am asking that the evidence be turned over and these tests be done, if the State of Oklahoma is so sure I am guilty. It will show I was wrongly convicted. I am not asking you to believe me since I know since you are a reporter, guys ask people like you all the time to believe them to be innocent. Please help me get these tests done and decide for yourself.
I have nothing to hide what so ever. I only want justice and right now the very people we look to do justice are denying me access to the evidence in my case. In addition, the Detective Fred Parke openly stated under oath that he took notes of the alleged confession but when asked for those notes, he said he threw them away. However, when the District Attorney’s office asked him he said that he must have misplaced the notes. But he can tell you word for word the alleged confession from his written notes, which he doesn’t have.
I’m asking why and how can any court who asks people to trust and believe them, who claim to administer justice – how can this be true when they refuse tests that will and can prove that I’m an innocent man? And how can they believe a detective who “misplaces” his own notes of an alleged confession, but says he can repeat them word for word while on the witness stand?
I’m writing to each of you as a person, a human being, an honest person who likes your job and wants to get to the bottom of the truth, so I ask your help. I would like to speak with anyone willing to talk to me a.s.a.p. I know that once you hear from me you will see I have nothing to hide about myself or this injustice that’s being done here. It seems to me that the courts are hiding behind the laws. I want these tests done. I need this detective investigated. I have nothing at all to hide from anyone.
I will close and hope you will consider interviewing me on the issues of DNA and the other test I wrote about.
Death Row 2000 "Bad Dude of the Week"
Robert William Clayton, 39, was sentenced to death for murdering 19-year-old Rhonda Kay Timmons in her Tulsa, Okla., apartment complex on June 25, 1985. Working as the groundskeeper, Clayton stabbed Timmons repeatedly, resulting in a skull fracture to the front of her head.
Prosecutors said during his trial that Clayton came upon Timmons as she was sunbathing. He beat her and stabbed her 13 times in the chest, neck, side and arms before strangling her with her bathing suit top. Timmons' husband, Bill, found her in front of their infant son's crib after he came home for lunch about half an hour later. The inside of the couple's apartment was covered in blood, but the baby (now 16) was not injured.
Clayton had no previous convictions but testimony at trial implicated him in a robbery in Texas and a rape in Mississippi. Clayton's defense claimed he was psychotic and retarded. After sentencing, he received a stay of execution so that additional DNA testing could be done, but the stay was lifted as the DNA evidence confirmed Clayton's guilt. The cold-blooded killer was executed earlier today.