Executed January 23, 2001 by Lethal Injection in Oklahoma
W / M / 20 - 35
8th murderer executed in U.S. in 2001
691st murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
5th murderer executed in Oklahoma in 2001
35th murderer executed in Oklahoma since 1976
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Mark Andrew Fowler
W / M / 27
W / M / 33
A / M / 44
Fox was fired from from his job at IGA supermarket, but came back six months later, and herded 3 employees into a back room, where along with accomplice Fowler, they beat, clubbed, stabbed and shot all 3. Joint trial of Fowler and Fox. Both admitted robbing the supermarket, but each denied committing or participating in the murders.
W / M / 20 - 35
Fowler v. State, 779 P.2d 580 (Okl. Cr. 1989).
Fowler v. State, 873 P.2d 1053 (Okl. Cr. 1994).
Fowler v. State, 896 P.2d 566 (Okl. Cr. 1995).
Fowler v. Ward, 200 F.3d 1302 (10th Cir. 2000).
Oklahoma Department of Corrections
Oklahoma Attorney General
10-10-2000 - W.A. Drew Edmondson, Attorney General - Execution Date Requested For Fox/Fowler
Attorney General Drew Edmondson today requested an execution date for the two men convicted of murdering three employees of an Edmond grocery store more than 15 years ago. Billy Ray Fox and Mark Andrew Fowler were sentenced to die for the July 3, 1985, murders of John Barrier, 27, Chumpon Chaowasin, 44, and Rick Cast, 33, during an early morning robbery of the Wynn's IGA grocery store where the victims worked. Chaowasin and Cast were murdered execution style, each dying from single gunshot wounds to the head. Barrier was stabbed nine times in the neck, chest, back and side and was bludgeoned on the back of the head with a shotgun. Fox, who was 19 at the time of the crime, and Fowler, who was 20, took $1,200 in cash and $1,500 in checks from the store. They were tried together in Oklahoma County District Court, convicted of the crime May 15, 1986, and sentenced to death June 20, 1986.
The United States Supreme Court today refused to hear the appeals of Fox, 35, and Fowler, 35, prompting Edmondson to ask the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set an execution date. In his requests, Edmondson asked the court to schedule both executions on the same day. "The execution of a killer is a difficult time for the victim's family and friends because the painful memories of the murder are brought to the surface," said Edmondson. "We have a rare situation where the co-defendants' appeals have run out on the same day, and we hope that setting the executions together will save the victims' families from having to endure this trauma twice."
Edmondson said it is the practice of his office, before an execution date is requested, to examine each case to determine if the testing of DNA evidence should occur. "We have determined, after a thorough review, that DNA testing would be of no value in this case, and would have no relevance as to the actual innocence of Fox or Fowler," said Edmondson. "I see nothing that should stand in the way of these executions being carried out. Although justice has been more than 15 years in coming, today's denial brings the killers closer to receiving the punishment given them by a jury of their peers."
Death Penalty Institute of Oklahoma
Mark Fowler was executed via lethal injection at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. He was pronounced dead at 9:07pm. Fowler, along with co-defendant Billy Ray Fox, was sentenced to death for the 1985 murders of John Barrier, 27, Rick Cast, 33, and Chumpon Chaowasin, 44, night employees of Wynn's IGA in Edmond. Fox's execution is scheduled for Thursday, January 25, at 9:00pm. Fowler was the fifth person to be executed by the state this year.
Prayer vigils were held at numerous locations across the state. Between 200 and 300 people attended the vigil outside the gates of the prison.
The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 4-0 to deny clemency for Mark Fowler. Fowler was sentenced to death for the 1985 murders of Rick Cast, 33, Chumpon Chaowasin, 44, and John Barrier, 27. The three men were killed during a robbery at a supermarket in Edmond. Fowler's accomplice, Billy Ray Fox, had worked at the store and was fired shortly before the robbery. The pair herded night manager Rick Cast and employees Chumpon Chaowasin and John Barrier into a back room, where they were shot, clubbed and stabbed. Fox and Fowler were tried together, and both received death sentences. Billy Ray Fox's execution is scheduled for January 25.
The Lamp of Hope (Associated Press & Rick Halperin)
January 23, 2001 OKLAHOMA - One of 2 men who blamed each other for a 1985 blood bath at an Edmond grocery store became the first to die for the crime Tuesday. A dose of drugs took Mark Andrew Fowler's breath and then stopped his heart in Oklahoma's death chamber. The 35-year-old was pronounced dead at 9:07 p.m. Before his death, Fowler's family members who were there to witness his execution joined in as Fowler began reciting a "Hail Mary," a prayer to the mother of Jesus Christ. "Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus," Fowler said. "Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen."
Fowler and Fox were arrested in Edmond the day after the July 3, 1985 murders of Barrier, 27, Rick Cast, 33, and Chumpon Chaowasin, 44. A teen-age girl found the 3 men lying face-down in a massive pool of blood in the back room of Wynns' IGA. Cast and Chaowasin died of shotgun wounds to their heads and Barrier had been beaten and stabbed. Attorney General Drew Edmondson said testimony showed the killer couldn't have acted alone. "Both of them pointed the finger at the other as the more involved of the 2, but the evidence was clear," he said. "When you're dealing with 3 healthy human beings, it had to be more than 1 person involved ... to successfully keep them herded in the back room. "
6 family members and friends of two of the slain men came to the prison to see Fowler die. "I have always believed in 'an eye for and eye'," Linda Barrier, the sister of victim John Barrier, wrote to a clemency board earlier this month. "I have waited 15 years for the final chapter." Fowler had maintained he was a lookout during the murders, but he apologized to the victim's families at his clemency hearing. "I'm not here to deny my involvement or participation because I was there and I was equally responsible for what happened," he said. "I cannot change the past or make the bad things disappear. I apologize for what I have done and thank God for taking care of my family." His parents, Jim and Ann Fowler, came to the prison to witness the execution. Jim Fowler has lived on both sides of the death penalty; 1st, as the father of a condemned inmate and secondly, as the son of a murder victim. Robert Miller Jr. spent 11 years on Oklahoma's death row before DNA evidence exonerated him in Anne Laura Fowler's death. "If we had killed Mr. Miller you would never had known about him being innocent," said Jim Fowler, who believes the death penalty lowers citizens to a killer's level. Catholic leaders, including Fowler's uncle, the Rev. Gregory Gier of Holy Family Cathedral in Tulsa, made pleas for his life before the state clemency board earlier this month.
Frank Cast, Rick Cast's brother, pointed to lives cut down by the 2 killers. All 3 victims were working at night and attending college by day, he wrote in a letter to the clemency board. Grief took a toll on his mother, who watched as Fox and Fowler snickered and passed notes during their court proceedings, Frank Cast said. "I believe to this date that Ricky's murder and the trial is what killed her," he wrote. "Our mother lingered on her death bed for 14 years, withering into a skeleton, waiting for justice to be carried out."
The execution came in a string of 8 scheduled through Feb. 1 in Oklahoma's death chamber. Death penalty opponents, who have gained momentum with national attention to the record pace, protested Tuesday morning on the grounds of the building that houses the state Pardon and Parole Board. 7 were arrested for trespassing. Kevin Acers, president of the Oklahoma City chapter of Amnesty International, said a homicide survivor's support group had received the permit to stand at the groups normal protest site outside the governor's mansion.
Fowler becomes the 5th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in Oklahoma and the 35th overall since the state resume capital punishment in 1990. Fowler becomes the 8th condemned inmate to be put to death this year in the USA and the 691st overall since America resumed executions on January 17, 1977.
Oklahoma Bishop's Clemency Letter
The following statement asking for clemency for Mark Fowler was delivered by Archbishop Eusebius J. Beltran to the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board at its scheduled hearing on Jan. 3.
Most honorable members of the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board:
My name is Eusebius J. Beltran. I am the Catholic archbishop of Oklahoma City. In that capacity, I am responsible for all the Catholic people living in central and western Oklahoma and the panhandle. Moreover, through our various educational, civic and social services, which are available for all people, we directly serve and assist the entire population of Oklahoma.
I have been a resident of Oklahoma for the past 23 years. The first 15 years, I was the bishop of Tulsa, and these past 8 years, the archbishop of Oklahoma City. You can see then that I have a long-standing commitment to the well-being of our beloved state of Oklahoma. It is because of my respect for the dignity of every human person and my love for Oklahoma that I have asked to address you. Thank you for your kindness in giving me this opportunity today.
The Webster's New International Dictionary defines clemency as "the disposition to treat with less rigor than one's authority or power permits." Aware of this meaning, I humbly ask you to hear and grant my request for clemency for Mark Andrew Fowler, who is scheduled for execution on Jan. 23.
My relationship with Mark and his family goes back to 1978. At that time I first met Fr. Gregory Gier, an uncle of Mark. Through Fr. Gier I eventually met Mark's grandparents, his parents and Mark himself. I visited Mark's home in Oklahoma City during the time his mother, Caroline, was suffering from cancer. Later I participated in her funeral service. When Mark was arrested and convicted for the robbery and murders, Fr. Gier informed me of these tragic events. Over the past 15 years, he has continued to keep me posted on the facts of this case.
Today, I come here personally to assure the relatives of the victims in this case that my prayers are with them. I, too, grieve for their loss. I pray for their healing. I also come here to plead for clemency for Mark Fowler. I do not excuse him for his complicity in this horrendous act. I do not ask that he ever be set free. I ask for clemency -- that you, the members of the Pardon and Parole Board -- would use less rigor than your authority or power permits. You have in your hands today the power of life or death. I beg you to choose life! Life is a gift from God. Every human being is created by God in His own Image and Likeness. When a person commits sin by performing brutal actions or unjust aggression, that person tarnishes the Image of God. In His goodness, God calls that person to repentance. Repentance leads to conversion. Conversion is a lifelong process that effects reconciliation.
To execute Mark Fowler is to cut short the penance and conversion he needs to make. To execute Mark Fowler does not bring back the lives of those he is accused of killing. To execute Mark Fowler does not effect a single positive objective fact. To execute Mark Fowler does not rectify the wrong that he did. Executing Mark Fowler only perpetuates the violence and evil he perpetrated.
The fact that we are the only country in the Western Hemisphere to continue to impose the death penalty should raise certain fundamental questions. Is this the best that we can do? Or does an execution simply return evil for evil? When we do return evil for evil, we degrade ourselves.
I beg you, members of the Pardon and Parole Board, to grant clemency to Mark Fowler. Clemency means to act with less rigor. This is not an easy matter for you, for me, for the victims' families or our governor. Clemency, especially in the face of such brutal acts, may seem impossible in human terms. Yet, with the grace of God, we see family members and loved ones of murder victims who can and do forgive. Our Lord Jesus, himself a victim of the death penalty, forgave his oppressors. Pope John Paul II also forgave his would-be assassin and visited him in his prison cell. The power of forgiveness is real. It heals the forgiver and communicates God's mercy to the sinner.
Please, find it in your hearts to grant clemency to Mark Fowler. In this instance you have the power of life or death -- choose life -- not violence and death. Thank you and God bless you.
Most Reverend Eusebius J. Beltran
(source: National Catholic Reporter)
Fowler Dies for Grocery Store Killings
McALESTER, Okla. (AP) -- One of two men who blamed each other for a 1985 blood bath at an Edmond grocery store became the first to die for the crime Tuesday. A dose of drugs took Mark Andrew Fowler's breath and then stopped his heart in Oklahoma's death chamber. The 35-year-old was pronounced dead at 9:07 p.m. Fowler became the fifth killer executed this month. His accomplice in a robbery turned triple murder, Billy Ray Fox, 34, is to become the sixth Thursday.
Fowler and Fox were arrested in Edmond the day after the July 3, 1985 murders of Barrier, 27, Rick Cast, 33, and Chumpon Chaowasin, 44. A teen-age girl found the three men lying face-down in a massive pool of blood in the back room of Wynn's IGA. Cast and Chaowasin died of shotgun wounds to their heads and Barrier had been beaten and stabbed. Attorney General Drew Edmondson said testimony showed the killer couldn't have acted alone. "Both of them pointed the finger at the other as the more involved of the two, but the evidence was clear," he said. "When you're dealing with three healthy human beings, it had to be more than one person involved ... to successfully keep them herded in the back room."
Frank Cast, Rick Cast's brother, pointed to lives cut down by the two killers. All three victims were working at night and attending college by day, he wrote in a letter to the clemency board. Grief took a toll on his mother, who watched as Fox and Fowler snickered and passed notes during their court proceedings, Frank Cast said. "I believe to this date that Ricky's murder and the trial is what killed her," he wrote. "Our mother lingered on her death bed for 14 years, withering into a skeleton, waiting for justice to be carried out."
The execution came in a string of eight scheduled through Feb. 1 in Oklahoma's death chamber. Death penalty opponents, who have gained momentum with national attention to the record pace, protested Tuesday morning on the grounds of the building that houses the state Pardon and Parole Board. Seven were arrested for trespassing. Kevin Acers, president of the Oklahoma City chapter of Amnesty International, said a homicide survivor's support group had received the permit to stand at the group's normal protest site outside the governor's mansion.