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Court rejects Oklahoma woman’s self-defense claim in death

August 1, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has affirmed the life prison sentence of a woman who worked as a prostitute and admitted stabbing a client to death.

The court ruled Thursday in the appeal of 33-year-old Sumeika D. Byrd, who was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for the Aug. 13, 2015, stabbing death of 28-year-old Brendon Turner.

Byrd testified during the trial that prostitution was her primary source of income and that she stabbed Turner in self-defense. She told jurors she had sex with Turner before he pushed her into a dresser, prompting her to grab a pocket knife.

Prosecutors say Turner suffered fatal stab wounds to his abdomen and heart. They say he was not the aggressor and had numerous defensive wounds.

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