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Former cellmate says Justin Sneed acted alone in murder

Justin Sneed. Courtesy of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Attorneys for Richard Glossip tell the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals they have more evidence that shows their client deserves a hearing before the justices. Glossip's lawyers filed three separate motions late Monday afternoon detailing the new evidence.

The first filing includes a sworn statement from a former cellmate of Justin Sneed. Sneed is the man who beat Barry Van Treese to death with a baseball bat and later testified Glossip paid him to commit the murder. According to the affidavit of Joseph Tapley, Tapley shared a cell with Sneed at the Oklahoma County Jail shortly after the murders. Tapley said he and Sneed spent much of their time reading the Bible, and even provided pictures of his Bible showing what he said is Sneed's signature dated September 28, 1997.

Tapley swears he heard Sneed talking in detail about the murder and how difficult it was to kill Van Treese and that Sneed said he did it for money. Tapley said Sneed never talked about Glossip or mentioned anything about being paid to commit the murder. Tapley said Sneed made it clear to him he acted alone. "Justin Sneed was very concerned about getting the death penalty," the affidavit says, "He was very scared of it. The only thing that mattered to him was signing for a life sentence."

Attorneys for Glossip have also submitted a notarized copy of another statement previously submitted to the court. The Oklahoma Attorney General's office had criticized an earlier filing saying the affidavit from Michael Scott should be thrown out because it was not notarized.

Scott's, now sworn and notarized statement, says he served time at Joseph Harp Correctional Center in a cell near Sneed. He said he head Sneed brag about the murder and about setting up Glossip. Scott said he heard Sneed say on multiple occasions Glossip was not involved in the murder.

Glossip's defense team also notified the court they are investigating the box of destroyed evidence in the case. The destruction of the evidence was uncovered by a Fox 25 Investigation. Some Oklahoma City attorneys say the destroyed evidence could be grounds for a new trial.

The Court of Criminal Appeals has not yet ruled on the merits of any of the evidence submitted. The court has also not set a hearing date or revealed if it will hold a hearing on the merits of the appeal.

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