Court

Muskogee County Jail

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma newspaper on Tuesday challenged a judge’s decision to ban the public from a hearing in the case of a Muskogee man accused of killing six people, including five children.

An attorney for the Muskogee Phoenix filed a motion to intervene in the case after District Judge Bret Smith barred a reporter for the newspaper and two other members of the media from attending a preliminary hearing in the case on Monday.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal appeals court has upheld a federal judge’s reversal of the murder conviction of an Oklahoma man whose case was featured in the book and television series ‘The Innocent Man.’

A three-judge panel of the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled 2-1 that Karl Fontenot, 56, has shown actual innocence in the 1984 kidnapping and death of Donna Denice Haraway in Ada, about 70 miles southeast of Oklahoma City, based on newly discovered evidence that the court said was withheld by prosecutors at the time.

File photo

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma City-area police officer has been sentenced to nine years in prison for killing an 18-year-old motorist in December 2019 while speeding to deliver keys to another officer.

During sentencing Wednesday, Moore police Sgt. Kyle Lloyd also received a nine-year suspended sentence in the crash that killed Emily Gaines of Moore.

(Note: This interview first aired in September of 2020.) Our guest is Rachel Louise Snyder, an award-winning journalist and professor of creative writing and journalism at American University. She talks about her latest book, which is "No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us." As was noted of this widely-acclaimed study by The Washington Post: "Compulsively readable.... In a writing style that's as gripping as good fiction, as intimate as memoir, and deeply informed, [Snyder] takes us into the lives of the abused, the abusers, and the survivors....

Tulsa Police

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A woman whose two young children wandered from their apartment and drowned has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the case.

Donisha Renee Willis, 24, agreed Monday to two child neglect charges in the May 2020 deaths of 3-year-old Miracle Crook and 21-month-old Tony Crook Jr., according to court records. The charges were reduced from second-degree murder counts.

Willis also pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer for kicking an investigator during questioning. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Image Credit: The National Judicial College

Earlier this year, in its landmark McGirt v. Oklahoma decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled that, regarding the Major Crimes Act, much of the eastern part of our state remains as Native American land, since that land was never disestablished by Congress. So, how is McGirt playing out now in court rooms and legal offices across Oklahoma? And what does the immediate future hold vis a vis the McGirt ruling? Our guest is Aila Hoss, Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Tulsa College of Law.

Oklahoma's district attorneys appear set to ask lawmakers for a nearly $12 million budget increase when fiscal year 2022 budget hearings begin in the coming months, a request that may not be well received.

District Attorneys Council Director of Finance Bud Webster said in a recent meeting, state Budget Secretary Mike Mazzei was clear the state's finances don't look like they'll have turned a corner.

Our guest is Rachel Louise Snyder, an award-winning journalist and professor of creative writing and journalism at American University. She talks about her newest book, which is just out in paperback; the book is "No Visible Bruises: What We Don't Know About Domestic Violence Can Kill Us." As was noted of this widely-acclaimed study by The Washington Post: "Compulsively readable.... In a writing style that's as gripping as good fiction, as intimate as memoir, and deeply informed, [Snyder] takes us into the lives of the abused, the abusers, and the survivors....

U.S. Army

A new website will help organizations offering free legal services connect with clients in need of civil representation.

The Oklahoma Pro Bono Opportunity Portal launched Monday. It’s a partnership between justice tech company Paladin and the Oklahoma Access to Justice Foundation.

While having an attorney is a right in criminal trials, it is not one for civil matters.

Tulsa Woman Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter

Jun 30, 2012
KWGS News File Photo

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A woman whose manslaughter conviction was overturned may only spend about another year in prison.

Susan Pryor pleaded guilty on Thursday to first-degree manslaughter in the 2007 fatal shooting of her friend, Timothy Lannom. The Tulsa World reports that Tulsa County District Judge Tom Gillert sentenced Pryor to four years in prison and gave her credit for the two years she's served.

Trial delayed for man charged in 1983 Oklahoma death

Jun 10, 2012

POTEAU, Okla. (AP) — A new trial date has been set for a Canadian man charged in the 1983 killing of an Oklahoma college student.

Suhail Shanti's April trial was postponed and online court records posted Friday night show a September 10th trial date is now scheduled.

Shanti has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the death of 21-year-old Mohamed Ayman Al-Zein.

Both men were students at what is now Carl Albert State College in Poteau at the time of the slaying. Shanti was free on bond when he didn't show up for his 1984 trial.

Oklahoma court rejects Tulsa convicted killer's appeal

Mar 23, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the murder convictions and life in prison sentences of a Tulsa man.

The court rejected Mario Wilson's argument that he was illegally arrested and that his confession given after that arrest should not have been allowed as evidence against him.

Weddle was convicted of the November 2009 shooting deaths of Jonathan Rush of Tulsa and Michael Lee Dwayne Richardson of Modesto, Calif., during what prosecutors said was a burglary.

Sapulpa woman accused of dumping baby sentenced

Mar 12, 2012

SAPULPA, Okla. (AP) — A Sapulpa woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison after she was accused of dumping her newborn son in a trash bin nearly three years ago. Kristina Blackburn pleaded no contest to felony child abuse. The Sapulpa Herald reports (http://is.gd/eBcsL6 ) that Blackburn was also sentenced to 25 years of probation and was ordered to have no contact with children. Prosecutors accused Blackburn of placing the baby in a duffel bag, then dumping him in a trash bin outside of a Disabled American Veterans post. The DAV's director discovered the baby, who survived.