Charge against city man reduced to kidnapping

By Jane Glenn Cannon Published: January 16, 2007
NORMAN — An Oklahoma City man initially charged with first-degree murder has been allowed to enter a plea to a reduced charge of accessory to kidnapping.

Michael Emami, 24, was placed on a five-year suspended sentence after entering the plea last week before District Judge Lori Walkley.

Assistant District Attorney Richard Sitzman said the charge was amended to conform with evidence that Emami was not present when Taylor Heintzelman, 17, of Oklahoma City was killed.

Heintzelman was shot in the head and upper back one day after being assaulted and abducted May 15, 2005, from a south Oklahoma City residence, Sitzman said.

Emami was present when Heintzelman was kidnapped, the prosecutor said.

Jerome Blake Booth, 21, also of Oklahoma City, is charged with first-degree murder.

Booth is awaiting a trial, possibly in March, prosecutors said.

Emami was placed on a second five-year suspended sentence after he pleaded guilty to a drug charge stemming from an unrelated arrest in September.

Oklahoma City police said they found cocaine on the ground near a car Emami had been driving.

Heintzelman's mother issued a statement to the court protesting Emami's suspended sentences.

The punishment was too light for the crimes committed, especially the crimes against her son, she said.

Heintzelman was assaulted, bound, gagged and removed from a residence, taken to a location on S Portland Avenue and shot, prosecutors allege.


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