A jury convicted a man Friday of killing a friend over a missing cellphone, rejecting his self-defense claim.
Dannie S. Lee, 28, of Oklahoma City, was charged with first-degree murder in the May 24, 2011, shooting death of Marquis Lewis, 18, outside an apartment complex in the 5400 block of Willow Cliff Road.
The Oklahoma County jury recommended life in prison with the possibility of parole as punishment. Lee is set to be sentenced Feb. 20 by District Judge Jerry D. Bass.
Lee said he acted in self-defense, telling jurors he felt threatened and accidentally shot Lewis when the latter reached for Lee's gun during a confrontation.
Lee asked Lewis and several guests to leave his apartment before the altercation after learning his girlfriend's phone was missing. Lee said Lewis cursed him and paced back and forth before getting “close enough to kiss me.” Lewis then pushed him before grabbing for the gun, the defendant testified.
“He had his hand on it, and I was trying to get it from him,” Lee said.
Prosecutors disagreed, arguing that Lee was the aggressor and shot Lewis seven times at close range because he felt angry, not threatened.
“He was upset that someone was calling him out,” Assistant District Attorney Adam Kallsnick told the jury Friday.
The prosecutor said Lewis, who knew Lee carried a gun, stood his ground because he didn't think “his friend would kill him.”
At least three eyewitnesses testified that Lee pushed Lewis first and was shoved in return. He then stepped back, drew his gun and fired multiple shots at close range, according to witness reports.
“The defendant's story didn't add up with the physical evidence,” Kallsnick said outside the courtroom. “The fact that he was shot so many times defeats the defendant's story that it was just an accident.”
Jurors, who deliberated for nearly four hours, declined to comment. Lee's attorney also declined to comment.