Crime

Michael Lee Wilson Set To Be Executed In Oklahoma

This June 29, 2011 photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, shows Michael Lee Wilson. Convicted in the 1995 beating death of 30-year-old Richard Yost, Wilson is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Jan. 9, 2014. Wilson was one of four men found guilty in the Feb. 26, 1995 murder. (AP Photo/Oklahoma Department of Corrections)
This June 29, 2011 photo provided by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, shows Michael Lee Wilson. Convicted in the 1995 beating death of 30-year-old Richard Yost, Wilson is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection Jan. 9, 2014. Wilson was one of four men found guilty in the Feb. 26, 1995 murder. (AP Photo/Oklahoma Department of Corrections)

OKLAHOMA CITY, Jan 9 (Reuters) - Oklahoma on Thursday is scheduled to execute a man convicted of beating a convenience store manager to death with a baseball bat during a robbery in 1995.

If the execution goes ahead, Michael Lee Wilson, 38, would be the first person put to death this year in Oklahoma and the second person executed in 2014 in the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which tracks the use of capital punishment.

Wilson was one of four men found guilty of murdering 30-year-old Richard Yost, who was found bound and beaten to death inside the convenience store's cooler.

Two of those convicted for the murder in Tulsa have already been executed and the fourth was sentenced to life without parole.

According to court documents, Wilson, Darwin Demond Brown, Billy Don Alverson and Richard Harjo entered the QuikTrip convenience store in the morning of Feb. 26, 1995. Wilson worked with the victim.

The men surrounded Yost and dragged him into a cooler. They handcuffed him and bound his ankles.

Security tapes show the men then left the store and returned with an aluminum baseball bat. The tapes also recorded the sounds of Yost being beaten. An autopsy report said pieces of the handcuffs were embedded into the victim's head.

While Yost was being beaten, Wilson put on his QuikTrip uniform and removed the safe in the store. He also waited on customers.

Brown and Alverson were executed in 2009 and 2011, respectively. Harjo, 16 at the time of the crime, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. (Reporting by Heide Brandes; Editing by Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Shumaker)

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