Oklahoma court upholds murder conviction of Tulsa man

April 5, 2018

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

The court on Thursday rejected appeals by 30-year-old Vernon Leemountel Smith, who was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. The appeals included insufficient evidence, improper hearsay testimony, prosecutorial misconduct and that the jury should have been instructed to consider lesser offenses, such as second-degree murder.

Smith is one of four men convicted in connection with the June 2015 death of 27-year-old Chazz Holly.

Prosecutors said Holly had cerebral palsy and delayed cognitive reasoning. Prosecutors said Holly died after he was kept inside the covered bed of his father’s truck for several hours on a hot day.

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