LEXINGTON Rita Silk Nauni, sentenced to 150 years in prison for a 1979 shooting incident that left one Oklahoma City airport police officer dead and another wounded, lost her first bid for parole Friday at the state Pardon and Patrol meeting here.
Nauni, 37, was convicted of manslaughter in 1980 in the death of Garland Garrison, a Will Rogers Airport police officer. She also was convicted of shooting with intent to kill for the wounding of Garland's partner, Teresa Wells.
The shootings occurred when the police officers became involved in a scuffle with Nauni, who they were trying to question. Nauni grabbed Wells' gun during the scuffle and fired the shots.
In the initial trial, Nauni's attorney argued the defendent was insane at the time of the shooting. Nauni, a Sioux Indian, has received widespread support from Indian groups.
Prosecutors charged her erratic behavior was caused by extensive drug use.
Since her conviction, Nauni's attorney has contended the defendant was improperly denied the insanity defense, that she was the victim of pre-trial publicity and that she received an unfair trial.
Her manslaughter conviction was upheld by the state Court of Criminal Appeals, and is now on appeal in federal court.
Nauni, who has served five years and eight months of her sentence, was put on the current docket because of the presumtive parole date, which is the length of time most inmates convicted of manslaughter serve before allowed a chance at parole.
The inmate was seeking parole from her 100-year sentence for manslaughter to her 50-year sentence for shooting with intent to kill.
When asked what she wanted to tell the board at Friday's meeting, Nauni replied, "That I think the time that I've done, I learned a lot.
I feel like I've received a lot of rehabilitation."
When questioned by board members, Nauni said she is not currently under any medication and that she has received counseling through institutional programs.
Betsy Pain, executive director of the board, said Nauni will be up for parole on an annual basis barring action by the board to prevent her docketing.
Hazardous road conditions resulted in a 40-minute delay of Friday's board meeting and prevented many institutions' inmates from attending.
Although the board listened to pleas from several inmates who did attend, it spent much of its time reviewing cases of those requesting decisions in absentia.
Among those denied bids for parole Friday were: Robert Best, serving a 10-year-to-life sentence for the second-degree murder of a Tulsa Salvation Army boys club director;
Ronnie L. Gibson, serving a life sentence for his role in the 1974 throat-slashing death of a Creek County woman; George Mallard, serving a life sentence for the shooting death of an elderly Tulsa caretaker;
Frank Minister, serving 25 years for the death of another inmate; and Leonard C. Springer, serving a 60-year sentence for the second-degree murder of his 3 1/2-year-old stepdaughter.
Among those granted parole were: John R. Johnson, serving a 15-year sentence for the alcohol-related traffic deaths of a woman and her child; Larry W. King, serving 25 years for the alcohol-related traffic death of a 9-year-old boy; and Robert F. Price, serving a 10-year sentence for the robbery by force and fear of an elderly Muskogee woman.
Price contended he robbed the woman because he was desperate for cash after previously looking for a job and being refused welfare and food stamps. BIOG: NAME:Archive ID: 252839