Del City defendant appeals his life sentence in slaying

Christopher Cody King, 25, of Del City, says he had been awake for days and didn't know what trouble he was getting into when he fatally shot and robbed a Norman man. He now is now appealing a life sentence.
by Jennifer Palmer Modified: December 23, 2013 at 8:18 pm •  Published: December 24, 2013
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A Del City man who claimed to be high on prescription pills, illegal drugs and alcohol when he shot and killed a Norman man is now asking for his sentence to be reduced.

Christopher Cody King, 25, on Aug. 8 pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, arson and larceny in the February killing of Patrick Burton, 51. King confessed to the crime, then tried unsuccessfully to withdraw his guilty plea after a Cleveland County judge sentenced him to life in prison Nov. 14.

King now has appealed his conviction to the state Court of Criminal Appeals.

Because of his relatively clean criminal history, King was eligible for a suspended or split sentence, said Norman attorney Tyson Stanek, who represented King on the murder charge but is not representing him on the appeal.

At sentencing, Stanek said King hoped to get a break that would have allowed him to spend less than 38-and-a-half years in prison — the amount of time before he'll be eligible for parole on a life sentence. Stanek said he believes that will be the basis of King's appeal.

Burton's body was discovered in a fire at his Norman home Feb. 13. Burton had been shot and robbed. Investigators said the last person Burton called was Mary Courtney York, a Del City woman who advertised herself as an escort, and she was there when Burton was killed.

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by Jennifer Palmer
Investigative Reporter
Jennifer Palmer joined The Oklahoman staff in 2008 and, after five years on the business desk, is now digging deeper through investigative work. She's been recognized with awards in public service reporting and personal column writing. Prior to...
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