After a Pottawatomie County jury convicted him of second-degree murder Tuesday afternoon, Nickey Sneed was handcuffed before he kissed his wife and said goodbye to his mother so sheriff's deputies could transport him to jail.
Sneed, 39, was accused of stabbing his stepfather, Ronald Lee Scott, 58, in the face with a knife during an altercation in 2011, with Scott dying from his injuries about a week later.
After hearing evidence in a trial held before District Judge John Canavan, the jury deliberated 45 minutes Tuesday afternoon before returning with the guilty verdict and recommended Sneed receive a 15-year prison term.
During the trial, the defense painted a picture of self-defense, which is something that Sneed's mother, who also was married to the man who died, said she believes.
"I hate seeing my son go to prison," Francis Scott said as she exited the Pottawatomie County courtroom Tuesday, adding she feels her son didn't mean to hurt Ronald Scott.
Sneed, who himself took the witness stand as part of his defense, testified about the altercation between him and his stepfather that day inside their Shawnee home, where he testified that his stepfather had a skillet and he "stuck him in the mouth" with the knife.
"I guess it was quick — he wrestled me to the ground," Sneed testified, adding Ronald Scott took the knife away from him.
In a fairly soft-spoken voice, Sneed, while confused about some of the events of that day, testified that he loved his stepfather and didn't want to kill him.
"I didn't think I hurt him — he was trying to hurt me," Sneed testified. Crying, Sneed mumbled, "I loved him."
Sneed further testified that after he was arrested and later told that Ronald Scott had died from his wounds, he was in shock.
"I can't believe what happened — I'm not a violent person — I'm just not," he further said while on the witness stand.
Shawnee police began investigating this case when they were called to 221 W. Midland about 5:33 p.m. on Sept. 12, 2011.
As paramedics assisted Ronald Scott, who was suffering a stab wound to his mouth, police found Sneed about one block away, with reports showing he had blood on his head, forearm and hands. Police reports indicated that he was allegedly intoxicated at the time.
Charges in the case alleged Sneed was involved in conduct that created an immediate and extremely high degree of risk of death to another person, although it was done without any premeditated design to effect death.
Assistant District Attorney Adam Panter, who prosecuted this case, said the jury came to the right conclusion. He believes the recommended sentence of 15 years was fair.
Page 2 of 2 - "It was justice," Panter said.
Defense Attorney Carlos Henry, who argued until the end that Sneed acted in self-defense, said he was disappointed by the verdict and said they do plan to appeal. Henry also said he was shocked the jury returned a verdict so quickly.
Formal sentencing has been scheduled for 9 a.m. June 19. Until then, Sneed will remain jailed in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center.
In another trial that concluded Tuesday, a Shawnee man was convicted of felony assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
In that trial, held before Associate District Judge John Gardner, Coy Gene Long Jr., 49, was found guilty, with the jury recommending he serve one year in the county jail.
Long was accused of assaulting Tommy R. Daniel Jr. on March 10, 2012, in the 31100 block of Highway 102 by stabbing him with a knife, court records show.