LUBBOCK, Texas — Sampson Oguntope, 29, would like to be released from jail so that he can go home, go to work and start a family of his own. A routine check of court records revealed that Oguntope wrote a letter to the 137th State District Court (judge John J. McClendon), which was filed on May 4.
Oguntope, a former Texas Tech track and field athlete, was charged with capital murder and accused of shooting and killing an 89-year-old woman in her home in Slaton in 2012.
Official records said he broke into the home of Faye Grey one afternoon and killed her. Officials said Oguntope also tried to assault Grey’s 21-year-old caregiver with a firearm. She was able to escape and get help from neighbors.
On May 17, 2018 Oguntope was committed to the State Hospital in Vernon.
The order said in part, “… It appear[s] to the Court that the Defendant may be a person with mental illness and remains incompetent to stand trial.”
The case has been put on hold many times as the issue of Oguntope’s mental health and competency to stand trial have been examined.
Several sealed motions and orders were filed in the case this year. So, it was not immediately clear if there was a current update from the court on Oguntope’s competency.
Oguntope’s letter said in part, “I was found not restorable numerous of times and I keep going back to a hospital for treatment. I feel like going to jail and being in the hospitals is cruel and unusual punishment.”
“I came from the bottom and I’m not trying to stay that way,” Oguntope said. “It has been like that my whole life and I want to better my life.”
Below is the full text of the letter from Oguntope:
This is my first time talking to you. I wanted to know what are you going to do with me? I was found not restorable numerous of times and I keep going back to a hospital for treatment. I feel like going to jail and being in the hospitals is cruel and unusual punishment. I’ve been doing good in both, hoping that my God, who created the Heavens and Earth through his grace let me go home to my parents, to work, and start a family of my own. Now you know where my confidence is, the question is, do you feel the same way? I came from the bottom and I’m not trying to stay that way, it has been like that my whole life and I want to better my life.
Sincerely, Sampson Oguntope
Related Story (from February 2018): Sampson Oguntope Still Awaits Capital Murder Trial Six Years After Arrest