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There are four classifications of homicide. Homicide is either murder, manslaughter, excusable homicide, or justifiable homicide. Defendant and his friend were living in a hotel while they sought work. His friend got drunk and became involved in an argument with a married couple who were at the hotel. The defendant became involved when he criticized his roommate’s habit of drinking and attempted to flirt with another man’s wife. A friend became angry and locked himself in the motel room where he continued to drink.
The defendant testified at trial. He said that after he asked the hotel clerk to unlock the door, he entered the room. There, he said down in his own bed talk to a friend, down. The defendant said that the frame became more abusive and made threatening gestures with a beer bottle. The defendant said he picked up a large hunting knife to protect himself while leaving the room. Testify that is who is about to leave, the friend lunged at him. When the defendant raised his arms to ward off the attack, he accidentally stabbed his friend. The defendant testified that at that point France steps back clutching his mood and ran from the hotel room.
The focus at the hotel testified that they became aware of the situation with the defendant came to their door saying that he thought they hurt his friend. By this time, the friend made his way to the hotel office. He was pretty bleeding profusely. The hotel clerk called the police as the friend collapsed in the doorway. The first officer to arrive saw the defendant walking away from the hotel. We saw the police car, the defendant pointed to the motel office, turned and began to walk toward where the victim was.
As he returned to the room, the defendant through the hunting up into some woods. By the time police found a friend, he died from his injury. When the guests pointed out defendant to the police. The defendant identified himself and cooperated with law enforcement. Police arrested him the night for first-degree murder. Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale has handled numerous serious cases, including murder.
The trial lasted two days. Witnesses were the hotel the time the killing. The defendant presented character witnesses and testified on his own behalf. He minutes of having the friend maintained that the killing was accidental. The jury returned a guilty verdict of the lesser included offense of first-degree manslaughter. They assessed punishment at life in prison. The defendant filed a motion for new trial, and the trial court initially granted.
At first, the trial court said that the evidence did not support the verdict. The prosecution appealed the appeal was dismissed. On appeal, the defendant argued that the trial court cannot vacate its own granting the motion for new trial. The defendant argued that since the state statute states that what’s new trials been granted the parties are in the same position as if the trial be had, they should have a new trial.
There are no previous Oklahoma cases that address this issue. Therefore the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals looked to a Colorado Supreme Court case. The common thread running through those cases the trial court to reconsider the granting of a new trial and found that there is not an unreasonable span of time from the granting of the rescinding of the order. Therefore, the trial court made a time prior to the final judgment is entered in a criminal prosecution exercise it sounds discretion reconsider to turn laudatory order granting or denying a motion for new trial.
Next, the defendant argued that the trial court should not be given certain jury instructions. A single instruction to the jury cannot be judged in isolation. Instead, it must be viewed in the context of the world charge. Based on all the instruction is or given, the appellate court held that the judge fairly and accurately instructed the jury regarding the applicable law in the case. Therefore, the appellate court denied this argument.
Thirdly, the defendant argued that prosecutorial misconduct deprived him of a fair trial. He said that the prosecutor made closing arguments to the jury speaking about the conscious of community. Defense counsel timely objection concluded the DAs argument. From the appellate courts reading of the transcript and closing arguments, cannot conclude that the defendant was prejudiced by this comment point that he was denied a fair trial. Although some of the prosecutor’s comments were graphic, did not rise to the level of prejudice that would alter the jury’s verdict.
Additionally, the defendant argued that the procedural history of this case inflicted cruel and unusual punishment. The eighth amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, said Tulsa criminal defense attorney Stephen Cale. However, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals found that this argument has a pertains to this case was not relevant. It said that there was no evidence to suggest that the appellant’s contentions had merit. Therefore, denied the best proposition.
The defendant further argued that the jury sentence was excessive. At the hearing on the defendant’s motion for new trial, the child judge agreed, saying that the sentence shocks the conscience of this court. The judge ruled however that he was powerless to modify the jury sentence. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has repeatedly held that it will not modify the sentence unless it shocks the conscience of the court. Generally, senses that are within the statutory limits will not be disturbed on appeal. The appellate court held, however, that the maximum sentence, in this case, was excessive.
The court held that are for facts that weighed in favor of not changing the sentence. One of them was that there was a justified homicide to the use of a dangerous weapon. Secondly, the defendant tended to hide the weapon. Thirdly, the defendant was leaving the scene as authorities arrived. Lastly, the defendant had a prior criminal record.