Amid claims of prosecutorial misconduct, murder conviction is tossed in Oklahoma County
Two Oklahoma County assistant district attorneys are accused of withholding witness statement from attorneys for Billy M. Thompson, convicted March 15 of stabbing to death Manuel L. Sanchez.
An Oklahoma City man will get his 3-week-old murder conviction tossed out because of prosecutorial misconduct, The Oklahoman has learned.
Oklahoma County District Judge Donald L. Deason wrote a letter to jurors who convicted Billy M. Thompson of murder March 15. The judge apologized for the actions of two prosecutors accused of withholding information from Thompson's public defenders.
“A failure to disclose evidence of this nature is inexcusable, and is completely abhorrent to the system of justice to which I have devoted my career,” Deason wrote. “The insult to you, and the time, effort and anguish you put into reaching a verdict in this matter, is equally intolerable.”
Deason told jurors he will approve a request for new trial. Oklahoma County Public Defender Robert Ravitz said he will file the motion next week.
“We're pretty confident it will be granted, and we're pretty confident we'll get a new trial,” Ravitz said Wednesday.
The prosecutors at the murder trial, assistant district attorneys Pamela Kimbrough and Stephanie Miller, are being investigated by their boss, District Attorney David Prater. He apparently has removed them from other cases. They could face termination.
“We take any allegations of unethical conduct very seriously,” Prater said Wednesday.
Jurors convicted Thompson, 25, of first-degree murder in the Aug. 17, 2010, stabbing death of Manuel Leon Sanchez, 21. The victim was killed outside Thompson's house in Oklahoma City.
Jurors also convicted Thompson of assault and battery for stabbing Maxwell M. McIntyre, 19, in the chest.
McIntyre testified during the trial that he and Sanchez left the house after an altercation and were walking up the street when Thompson came up behind them and stabbed them.
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