The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Featured Story

April 1, 2013

US court upholds death penalty for Oklahoma man

OKLAHOMA CITY — A federal appeals court on Monday upheld the first-degree murder conviction and death sentence of a Ponca City man for the June 1999 death of a 19-year-old woman.

The Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected Clayton Darrell Lockett’s claim that victim impact testimony that included sentencing recommendations violated Lockett’s constitutional rights.

Lockett’s attorney, Assistant Federal Defender Dean Sanderford of Denver, did not immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

A jury in Noble County convicted Lockett, 38, in the shooting death of Stephanie Nieman of Perry. Along with first-degree murder, Lockett was also convicted on 18 other counts, including first-degree rape, kidnapping and robbery. Jurors recommended a death sentence.

Investigators said Nieman and another 19-year-old woman had their hands bound with duct tape after Lockett and two other men forced their way into a home in Perry. The two women along with a man and his 9-month-old son were taken to Kay County, where Neiman was shot. Police said the others were driven back to Perry and released. Neiman’s body was found in a shallow grave along a dirt road near Tonkawa.

Among other things, Lockett argued that victim impact testimony during the sentencing phase of his trial violated his constitutional rights. The appeals court said “some portions of the victim impact statement were unconstitutional” but did not have a substantial effect on the jury’s sentencing decision.

The court said statements by the victim’s family members included “an unambiguous plea to the jury to sentence Mr. Lockett to death.”

The appeals court said it has ruled in previous cases that overwhelming evidence of guilt and testimony about the brutality of the crime “clearly outweighed any potential impact of unconstitutional victim impact testimony.”

“We cannot conclude that the erroneously admitted victim impact testimony in this case was prejudicial,” the court said.

 

1
Text Only
Featured Story
Featured Ads
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
NDN Video
Grumpy Cat Not Impressed at "Idol" Is Shaquille O'Neal the World's Best Ex-Athlete? Raw: Obama Plays Soccer With Japanese Robot Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 2 BASE Jumpers Set World Record Screaming 2-year-old gets psyched at Penguins game Pineda: Put pine tar because he didn't want to hit anyone Beyonce on Her Biggest Influence Michael Strahan's First Day on "GMA" Clerk catches on fire after man throws Molotov Cocktail into Brooklyn store Amazon's Deal With HBO Leapfrogs Streaming Rivals Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Georgetown police officer filmed tripping students Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Lupita Nyong'o Named People's 'Most Beautiful' Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India
House Ads
Facebook