NEW: Post Conviction Relief filed on behalf of April Wilkens

NEW: Post Conviction Relief filed on behalf of April Wilkens

A message from April Wilkens sent on 9/19/22

Monday morning

Hi there. Late last week, I received the latest podcast transcripts you sent along with the interim study info and TPR article. Thanks!

Read the transcripts. I had no idea that the audiotape recording of Terry was actually ruled inadmissible at my trial after the prosecution filed a motion to keep it out, and this was done when the court reporter was not there so there. I’ve thought all this time that my attorney failed to discover it from Claire Eagan and that Tim Harris likely had it bc (I gave it to police) but just withheld that evidence. I’m flabbergasted!

I’m also a word nerd…

Manipulating the Truth

“Manipulate, in my opinion, means to behave or act in a certain way so as to influence the outcome to benefit or achieve your – your agenda.” (nothing about “manipulate” involving wily or fraudulent means or motives)

“[Truth] can change based on your perception.”

“And so that could be HER truth.” – IPV Expert at approx. 18:42 of Episode 11: The True Experts (emphasis added)

“We’re going to speak MY truth on the stand.” – IPV Expert at approx. 30:04 of Episode 11: The True Experts (emphasis added)

From Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary:
2a(1): the state of being the case: fact
2a(3): often cap: a transcendental fundamental or spiritual reality
2b: a judgment, proposition, or idea that is true OR ACCEPTED AS TRUE (emphasis added)

1a: result of perceiving: observation

1a: obtain awareness or understanding of
1b: to regard as being such
2: to become aware of through the senses, especially: see, observe

1: To treat or operate with or as if with the hands or by mechanical means especially in a skillful manner
2a: To manage or utilize skillfully
2b: To control or play upon by artful, unfair, or insidious means especially to one’s own advantage

1: A list or outline of things to be considered or done
2: An underlying often ideological plan or program

Have a great day! 🙂

A message from April Wilkens sent on 9/19/22

Next Saturday: An immersive podcast experience for Panic Button: The April Wilkens Case at the Center for Public Secrets

Join us for an immersive podcast experience to celebrate the completion of Season One of Panic Button: The April Wilkens Case. The podcast tells the story of April Wilkens, a domestic violence survivor serving LIFE in an Oklahoma Prison, and two attorneys’ journey to expose the truth about her conviction so we can finally bring her home.
For the first time in 25 years, the harrowing experience April Wilkens endured at the hands of her ex-fiance, Terry Carlton, and the heart-breaking crusade against her led by former Tulsa County DA Tim Harris that followed, are brought to the light. You’ll see the exhibits from April’s trial up close, and hear excerpts from the podcast that tackles the question of how a victim of domestic violence can become a criminal in the eyes of the law.
Join hosts Leslie Briggs and Colleen McCarty, as well as licensed master social worker and Battered Womens’ Syndrome Expert, Molly Bryant, and others to learn about how Oklahoma’s justice system treats criminalized abuse survivors–and what you can do about it.

Learn how to RSVP here:

Next Saturday: An immersive podcast experience for Panic Button: The April Wilkens Case at the Center for Public Secrets

Updates about the Sept. 13 Criminalized Survivor interim study sought by Oklahoma House Representative Toni Hasenbeck

A roundup of coverage about the study before and after:

Oklahoma Appleseed will work with state Representative Toni Hasenbeck of Elgin for Interim Study on issues flowing from Domestic Violence – Capitol Beat – Sept.7, 2022. 

McCarty joined OKAppleseed when it formed last spring to support justice and opportunity for every Oklahoman by addressing criminal justice reform, mental health care for people in the justice system, and addressing the root causes of over-incarceration.

Recently McCarty was co-host, with attorney Leslie Briggs, of the new podcast “Panic Button,” which outlined the case of April Wilkens, a Tulsa victim of domestic violence who was convicted of murdering her partner in 1999.

The case raises the issue of criminalized survivors who through no fault of their own must defend themselves from abuse and often are convicted of crimes with long sentences.

The podcast is intended to raise awareness of unjust incarceration of victims of domestic violence. Wilkens has been in prison for 25 years.

The Interim Study was sought by Rep. Hasenbeck, and approved for this year by Speaker of the House Charles McCall, R-Atoka.

Slides used during the study. 

Fighting back often lands domestic violence targets in jail, legislative panel told – Tulsa World – Sept. 13, 2022

Among the cases highlighted was that of Tulsan April Rose Wilkens, who remains in prison for the 1998 killing of her former fiancé. According to attorneys Collen McCarty and Leslie Briggs, Wilkens shot Terry Carlton after he raped and handcuffed her and said he was going to kill her. This, they said, followed years of abuse, including several rapes and at least a dozen stalking complaints.

When moms fight back: Stories from the Capitol – VNN  – Sept. 14, 2022. 

She and fellow attorney Leslie Briggs co-host “Panic Button”, a podcast that promotes awareness of the April Wilkens case, which both women discussed during Tuesday’s study.

Wilkens is currently serving the 25th year of a life sentence for killing her rapist and abuser Terry Carlton.

Despite 14 police reports, three protective orders, and two substantiated rape kits filed over the course of his abuse, Carlton was only arrested one time.

“She has maintained her story and every single piece of that has been substantiated by external evidence,” McCarty said.

“This case happens to be one of the most corroborated cases of abuse and self-defense that I have ever seen,” Briggs added.


Updates about the Sept. 13 Criminalized Survivor interim study sought by Oklahoma House Representative Toni Hasenbeck

New Mother Jones story about April Wilkens

She hopes new evidence about her case, highlighted on the podcast, might help people understand the pressure she was under at the time of her offense. She even has an audio tape she recorded of Carlton admitting that he’d assaulted her prior to the night in question, and not denying that he’d raped her previously, but it was never presented during trial. “She did everything she could have possibly done,” says McCarty, the attorney. “She reported to police, she kept records, she took pictures.”

As Wilkens waits for her next opportunity to plead her case to the parole board or for lawmakers to pass a law, she continues to think of her granddaughter. In their recent phone call, after questioning why Wilkens was in prison, the 4-year-old asked whether she was okay there, whether she was happy, and whether she might be allowed to go home soon. Not right now, Wilkens told her. Still, she tries to imagine things changing.”I want to make it a better world,” she tells me, thinking again of her granddaughter, “so she won’t have to go through anything like this.”

Read the rest on Mother Jones. 

New Mother Jones story about April Wilkens

A new podcast about April Wilkens is launching called “Panic Button: The April Wilkens Case”

A new podcast about April Wilkens is launching called “Panic Button: The April Wilkens Case”

Issues with April’s 2022 Parole Investigative Report

Linked here is the 2022 Parole Investigative Report by Brittany King and April Wilkens’s responses to the PAROLE INTERVIEW QUESTIONNAIRE used to make the report. Below is April’s list of issues she found with the DA’s version included in the 2022 report (copied and pasted from an emessage to us, with light editing). The PDFs have OCR.

The main issues she focuses on are:

  • Blatant falsehoods from the DA
  • The substance abuse history is wrong and does not match her questionnaire answers she submitted (surely a mistake by the PI Investigator)
  • She had never been diagnosed with bipolar, borderline personality disorder, or substance abuse disorder before Terry. And the bipolar and borderline personality diagnoses are ill-informed and wrong. Lynda Driskell diagnosed April with PTSD instead, which is spot-on because she is actually an expert. April has not taken psych medication since just after the turn of the century, when she was only taking an antidepressant for depression. The prison has had her classified (as shown in the report) as having NO mental health issues for many years now.
  • You cannot “escape” from 12&12, it is out-patient only and you are free to leave whenever you like.

Continue reading “Issues with April’s 2022 Parole Investigative Report”

Issues with April’s 2022 Parole Investigative Report