A federal appeals court has reversed the first-degree murder conviction of an Oklahoma death row inmate convicted in the stabbing death of a 22-year-old woman 16 years ago.
The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered a new trial Monday for 45-year-old Sterling B. Williams. A three-judge panel of the Denver-based court ruled that jurors at his 1999 trial in Tulsa County should have been instructed to consider convicting Williams of the lesser crime of second-degree murder, which is not punishable by death.
Two state legislators who oversee funding for common education in Oklahoma say they have concerns about state Superintendent Janet Barresi's proposal to fund $2,000 annual teacher raises from local district carry-over funds.
Republican Rep. Lee Denney and Sen. Jim Halligan both said Monday they support an effort to increase teacher pay, but that it would be difficult for the Legislature to come up with the $100 million needed to fund the plan each year.
Crops, pastures, trees and wildlife habitats are being threatened. Even cemetery headstones are in the line of fire, Reuters reports.
The Pig Army has declared war on Oklahoma, and farmers and ranchers are doing their best to fight back. But the ranks of this battalion of wild boars aren’t filled with pot-bellies, the news services’ Kevin Murphy reports:
Court documents show a lawyer appointed to look out for the best interests of a 3-year-old Cherokee girl at the center of an adoption dispute has asked a judge to suspend visitation rights for her adoptive parents.
Angel Smith filed a motion in Cherokee County District Court in Oklahoma on Friday asking the judge to suspend the right for Matt and Melanie Capobianco to see 3-year-old Veronica pending a hearing.
The Capobiancos have filed a motion objecting to the stay.
The Oklahoma City Public Schools has a new superintendent, at least temporarily. The school board voted unanimously this morning to hire Dave Lopez as the interim superintendent for the state's largest school district.
His salary was set at $160,000. Lopez is currently Oklahoma's Secretary of Commerce and worked as a telephone company executive before entering public service.
Federal prosecutors in Tulsa say five to eight cases may be affected by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder's proposal to change federal sentencing policies.
Earlier this month, Holder told federal prosecutors to stop charging many nonviolent drug defendants with offenses that carry mandatory minimum sentences. Danny Williams Sr., the U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Oklahoma, says a review of pending drug prosecutions showed that up to eight cases could be affected.
Originally published on Mon August 26, 2013 10:33 am
You may have to turn off your television today if you wish to avoid seeing clips of one-time squeaky clean Disney star Miley Cyrus as she "twerked and gyrated, stripped and swayed," Sunday night at the MTV Video Music Awards.