The State begins to present its evidence in April Wilkens' first-degree murder trial. In the Spring of 1999, April was absolutely convinced that the jury would acquit her after hearing her evidence of abuse, especially after hearing the testimony from the SANE nurse that proved she had been raped the night of the shooting. She was sure they would come to understand Terry's chronic intimate terrorism and understand she'd had no choice but to pull the trigger.
Instead, the State paints her as a psycho ex-girlfriend fiending for drugs. Every trope imaginable is called up to prejudice the jury against her: gold digger, slut, junkie, and whore. The two most helpful witnesses the prosecution puts on are the medical examiner, Dr. Distefano, and the SANE Nurse, Kathy Bell.
- To view the diagrams used by the State and Dr. Distefano as well as pictures of the clothing April was wearing that got bagged in the rape kit visit okappleseed.org/episode-6-show-notes
Detailed Timeline of Events in April's Case compiled by April herself with help from her niece, Amanda: https://aprilwilkensblog.wordpress.com/2022/02/12/timeline-of-events/
Sign the Change.org petition to support April's release: https://www.change.org/p/oklahoma-pardon-parole-board-commute-the-life-sentence-of-abuse-survivor-april-wilkens?signed=true
Donate to keep our work going!: neappleseed.org/okappleseed
Learn more about Oklahoma Appleseed: okappleseed.org
- If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, use a safe computer and contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at www.thehotline.org or call 1-800-799-7233. You can also search for a local domestic violence shelter at www.domesticshelters.org/.
- If you have experienced sexual assault and need support, visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) at www.rainn.org or call 1-800-656-HOPE.
- Have questions about consent? Take a look at this guide from RAINN at www.rainn.org/articles/what-is-consent.
- Learn more about criminalized survival at www.survivedandpunishedny.org/.
- Learn more about the Domestic Violence Survivors Justice Act at www.nysda.org/page/DVSJA.
- Follow the #freeaprilwilkens campaign on Instagram at @freeaprilwilkens, on Twitter and on their webpage at https://aprilwilkensblog.wordpress.com/.
Colleen McCarty is one of the hosts, executive director of Oklahoma Appleseed, and producer. Leslie Briggs is the other host who is a civil rights and immigration attorney, and producer. Rusty Rowe provides substantial audio production support. We're recorded at Bison and Bean Studios in Tulsa. Additional support from Amanda Ross and Ashlyn Faulkner. Our theme music is Velvet Rope by Gyom.
Panic Button is created in partnership with Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice and Leslie Briggs. Follow OK Appleseed on Twitter and Instagram at @ok_appleseed.
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