Connecticut readers might be interested to learn that a jury has found a 19-year-old Oklahoma City man guilty of second-degree murder for shooting a wheelchair-bound man to death in 2018. The verdict was handed down on Nov. 8.
According to court records, the defendant went to the man’s apartment with a gun on the night of Oct. 3, 2018, to retrieve his brother’s backpack. Witnesses said he was agitated and hostile when he arrived and ended up getting into a physical altercation with the man, who was paralyzed from the waist down, over the bag. During the struggle, the gun reportedly went off, and the man was shot in the chest. It was later discovered that the backpack also contained a gun.
The defendant’s lawyer claimed that his client only brought a gun because he was afraid of the victim, who had served time for dealing drugs. He also argued that the witnesses changed their stories in court and weren’t credible. However, prosecutors contended that the defendant not only shot a man in a wheelchair, but he threatened a pregnant woman and other witnesses with his gun. He also fled the scene and attempted to elude police. The jury agreed with the prosecution, finding the defendant guilty of second-degree murder and two counts of pointing a firearm. They recommended that the judge sentence him to 20 years in prison.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, it might be advisable for defendants facing murder charges to accept a plea deal. A criminal defense attorney may be able to negotiate a deal with prosecutors that reduces the charges and allows for a more lenient sentence. While this strategy leads to a conviction, it might help the defendant avoid being convicted of more serious charges at trial.