Is Glen Gore Still In Prison? The 'Innocent Man' Subject Narrowly Avoided A Death Penalty
The Innocent Man tells the story of Ron Williamson and Dennis Fritz, two men who were convicted in 1988 for the murder of Debra Sue Carter. However, after 11 years in prison, they were exonerated and released. Police then turned to a new suspect, Glen Gore, who is still in prison according to records from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, and is expected to remain there for the rest of his life without opportunity for parole.
As reported by the Oklahoman, Gore was sentenced to death by a 12-person jury in 2003 — four years after Williamson and Fritz were released and two decades after Carter was killed. "To have 12 people agree, with this difficult of a case, that [Gore] should suffer the same penalty he inflicted on an innocent woman shows that just because the system can make a mistake doesn't mean we're afraid to impose justice," the lead prosecutor in the case, Richard Wintory, told the publication at the time.
Also per the Oklahoman, Gore was already in prison for unrelated charges before being arrested in connection to Carter's death. According to records from the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, these charges included using an offensive weapon in a felony, pointing a firearm, kidnapping, assault and/or battery with a deadly weapon, and first-degree burglary. The Oklahoman reports that the same DNA evidence used to exonerate Williamson and Fritz is ultimately what led investigators to Gore. According to the outlet, several witnesses reported seeing Gore talking with Carter before she left the Ada club she was last seen at, while one person alleged she'd pushed him away from her. Another witness testified that Carter had allegedly said she feared Gore's temper.
While Gore initially received the death penalty for Carter's murder, according to the Ada News, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals later ruled that Gore had been denied a fair trial, as he had not been able to present evidence pointing to other possible suspects. In his second trial, Fox affiliate KXII News 12 reported, Gore was once again found guilty, but was instead sentenced to life in prison without parole after a deadlocked 11-to-1 jury deliberated for more than 10 and a half hours on whether or not to give him the death penalty.
During this second trial, The Ada News reports that Carter's mother, Peggy Sanders, stood in another room of the courthouse until someone delivered the verdict to her. Upon finally hearing the verdict — that Gore would be remain in prison for Carter's death — Sanders reportedly replied, "I’m OK, now," 20 years after learning of her daughter's death.
Records for Oklahoma Department of Corrections indicated that Gore is currently serving out his sentence at Mack Alford Correctional Center in Atoka, Oklahoma. Barring any sudden developments in the case, there is nothing to suggest he will be moved from that facility or released from prison.
The Innocent Man, based on John Grisham's 2006 book of the same name, premieres on Netflix on Dec. 14.