Man sentenced to life in shooting death of Oklahoma deputy
GUTHRIE, Okla. (AP) — A man convicted of fatally shooting an Oklahoma sheriff's deputy was sentenced to life in prison after the jury couldn't agree on whether he should be sentenced to death.
District Judge Phillip Corley sentenced Nathan LeForce on Thursday, ending the four-week trial. LeForce, who was convicted of first-degree murder, will not be eligible for parole.
LeForce, 47, was convicted of gunning down Logan County Sheriff's Deputy David Wade on April 18, 2017. Prosecutors sought the death penalty, arguing in a court filing that the shooting was "especially heinous, atrocious and cruel" and that LeForce otherwise would continue to be a threat.
Among those who testified during the sentencing phase were members of Wade's family and 28 witnesses for the defense, including LeForce's mother and children and a forensic psychologist who talked about LeForce's drug use and traumatic experiences as a youth.
Corley imposed the life sentence after jurors informed him they were deadlocked after deliberating for about six hours, according to court records.
Oklahoma is among 22 states that require an automatic life sentence if a jury can't reach a unanimous sentencing verdict in a death penalty case, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.
District Attorney Laura Thomas didn't immediately reply to a Friday phone message seeking comment.
Among the evidence presented during the trial was footage from Wade's body camera showing LeForce raise a handgun and fire on the deputy while Wade was serving an eviction notice at a home near Mulhall, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City. Wade was shot four times, including in the face, but he still managed to return fire and to call for backup.
Authorities said LeForce then took Wade's patrol vehicle and drove at high speed to a convenience store, where he stole another car at gunpoint. That car was found abandoned about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Mulhall near Guthrie, where LeForce was found hiding in a building and surrendered to police.
In addition to the murder charge, LeForce was convicted of larceny of a vehicle and armed robbery in the case. His jury recommended prison sentences of 30 and 37 years on those charges, respectively. He's due to be sentenced on those charges Sept. 20.
Cherokee Nation's council OKs pick for US House delegate
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) — The Tribal Council of the Cherokee Nation has unanimously approved the newly elected chief's selection to be the tribe's first-ever delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.
The Tahlequah, Oklahoma-based tribe says its 17-member council approved Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr.'s pick of Kimberly Teehee during a special meeting on Thursday.
Hoskin announced earlier this month he intends to exercise for the first time the tribe's right to a congressional delegate, which is outlined in treaties with the federal government.
A Cherokee Nation citizen and former adviser to President Barack Obama, Teehee currently oversees government relations for the tribe and its business arm.
Legal experts say the path to secure a tribal delegate would likely require congressional approval and be similar to those of island territories like Puerto Rico.
3 bodies found in Oklahoma home in apparent murder-suicide
EDMOND, Okla. (AP) — Police in suburban Oklahoma City say the bodies of three people have been discovered inside a residence in what's being investigated as an apparent murder-suicide.
The Edmond Police Department says the bodies were found early Friday after someone called 911 to report a disturbance. Authorities say a second 911 caller from the home told a dispatcher that someone had been shot.
Responding officers believed at least one hostage was being held and attempted to speak with someone inside the residence. When no contact was made, they went inside and found the bodies.
Authorities say preliminary findings are that a murder-suicide occurred and that they're not seeking any suspects. Investigators say there's no apparent danger to the community.
The names of the people found in the home have not been released.