Executions · Newspaper clippings · Oklahoma

Man executed for killing co-worker and her son

February 20, 1998
McAlester, Oklahoma
Michael Long is executed for the murder of his 24-year-old co-worker and her 5-year-old son

Long (25) had worked with Sheryl Graber at a florist and often made his sexual attraction towards her known. Graber did not share the feelings and repeatedly told Long she was not interested.

On April 7, 1987, Long visited Graber’s home to either convince her to have sex with him or to rape her if she refused. Graber invited Long into her home and again rejected his advances, at which point Long pushed Graber to the ground and stabbed her. Graber was able to open her front door and yell for help, though Long told neighbors Graber was drunk and everything was fine before closing the door. Long then continued his attack. Graber was stabbed 31 times (26 times to her back and 5 to her front) with enough force to break the knife twice in her body, and shot her once in the head and once in the abdomen. Long also shot 5-year-old Andrew Graber once in the head and once in the chest at point-blank range, and stabbed him once in the back.

Neighbors called police during the attack. After Long emerged from Graber’s home he was held by two citizens, described as “bikers” by a local newspaper, until police arrived to arrest him. Though Long confessed during questioning, his defense team attempted to dismiss the confession claiming Long only admitted to the murders because he believed the investigator was “on his side.” Long also attempted to blame the killings on the consumption of alcohol and marijuana before the attack. Neither of these tactics worked and Long was convicted of two counts of first degree murder. He was executed by lethal injection on February 20, 1998 after waiving his remaining appeals.

Sources:
LONG v. STATE. 1994 OK CR 60. 883 P.2d 167. Case Number: F-87-923. Decided: 09/14/1994. Justia. Accessed: February 20, 2019. https://law.justia.com/cases/oklahoma/court-of-appeals-criminal/1994/11543.html
Hartman, David and Thornton, Anthony. “Inmate Executed for 1987 Murder of Pair.” The Daily Oklahoman [Oklahoma City, Oklahoma]. February 20, 1998
“Murderer accepts lethal injection.” The Sentinel [Carlisle, Pennsylvania]. February 20, 1998
Trammell, Robby. “Man Found Guilty of Killings.” The Daily Oklahoman. September 29, 1987
Palmer, Griff. “Two Bikers Hold Suspect for Police.” The Daily Oklahoman. April 9, 1987

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