Oklahoma executed Richard Rojem Jr. at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester on Thursday after nearly 40 years on death row.

Before the execution, Rojem, 66, declined to give final words and said he had already said his “goodbyes,” according to media witnesses. He requested a small Little Caesar’s pizza with double cheese and double pepperoni for his last meal. He also asked for eight salt packets, two vanilla ice cream cups and Vernor’s ginger ale.

Rojem was sentenced to death three times for the 1984 kidnap, rape, and murder of his former stepdaughter, Layla Dawn Cummings, age 7.

The court threw out Rojem’s first two death sentences from Washita County due to procedural errors. Rojem was sentenced to death for a third time in 2007 in Custer County.

Six years before Rojem raped and murdered Cummings, he sexually assaulted two teenage girls in Michigan in 1978. He served four years in the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Oklahoma Attorney General’s prosecutors said Rojem was also sexually violent against his ex-wife Mindy Cummings, who divorced him after he sexually abused Layla Cummings.

Rojem abducted Cummings from her apartment in July 1984 while her mother worked her second job at McDonald’s. A farmer later found Cummings’ body in a field near Burns Flat. She died from multiple stab wounds.

Rojem told the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board at a clemency hearing on June 17 that he had done bad things in his past, but didn’t kill Cummings. His lawyer asked the board to commute his sentence to life in prison. The Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board voted 5-0 against recommending clemency for Rojem. 

Rojem was unconscious at 10:08 a.m. and declared dead at 10:16 a.m., according to media witnesses.

Oklahoma Attorney General Gentner Drummond said at a press conference after the execution that Layla Cumming’s family finally has justice after 40 years. Cummings’ family didn’t attend the press conference. But Drummond read a letter on behalf of Layla’s mother, Mindy Cummings.

“Today marks the final chapter of justice determined by three separate juries for Richard Rojem’s heinous acts nearly 40 years ago when he stole her away like a monster he was,” Mindy Cummings wrote. 

Mindy Cummings and Lisa Terrill, Layla’s stepsister, witnessed the execution.

Rojem was the 13th person Oklahoma has executed since it resumed executions in 2021 and the 208th since 1915. A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said the next execution hasn’t been scheduled yet.

Oklahoma executions since 2021
Oct. 28, 2021: John Marion Grant
Dec. 9, 2021: Bigler Jobe Stouffer II
Jan. 27, 2022: Donald Anthony Grant
Feb. 17, 2022: Gilbert Postelle
Aug. 25, 2022: James Allen Coddington
Oct. 20, 2022: Benjamin Cole
Nov. 17, 2022: Richard Fairchild
Jan. 12, 2023: Scott Eizember
July 20, 2023: Jemaine Cannon
Sep. 21, 2023: Anthony Sanchez
Nov. 30, 2023: Phillip Hancock
April 4, 2024: Michael DeWayne Smith
June 27, 2024: Richard Rojem