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Oklahoma appeals court affirms life sentence in shooting

April 11, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the life prison sentence of a 23-year-old man convicted of shooting another man to death in a dispute over possession of a stolen car.

The court ruled Thursday in the case of Joseph Johnson, who was convicted by a jury in Tulsa County of the Oct. 10, 2016, death of 23-year-old Quavis Cato.

Authorities say Cato was shot more than a dozen times in the dispute over the stolen vehicle. Defense attorneys claimed the shooting was self-defense and Johnson believed Cato was reaching into a vehicle to grab a weapon.

Authorities say Johnson was arrested in Louisiana two days after the shooting when three witnesses identified him as Cato’s assailant.

His attorney, Meghan LeFrancois, didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.