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For convicted killer, another death sentence

By Jay F. Marks Modified: June 17, 2008 at 12:02 am •  Published: June 17, 2008
A convicted killer was sentenced to death for the second time Monday in the 1997 beating death of a 73-year-old man.

James Allen Coddington was convicted and sentenced to death in 2003 for killing Albert Troy Hale, a co-worker at a Choctaw auto parts store.

Coddington's death sentence was overturned on appeal, meaning another Oklahoma County jury had to hear evidence in the case and decide on the proper punishment.

A seven-man, five-woman panel deliberated for about 4 1/2 hours Monday before affirming the previous jury's verdict. Coddington, 36, grimaced slightly as District Judge Jerry Bass read the last of four aggravating circumstances found by the jury, meaning he could be sentenced to death.

Prosecutors had alleged Coddington was a violent felon who committed a heinous murder to avoid arrest. They also argued he was a continuing threat to society.

Hale's son, Mitch Hale of Woodward, was pleased with the verdict.

"Justice was served. Again,” he said.

One of Coddington's relatives left the courtroom in tears after the judge confirmed each juror favored the death penalty.

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