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Killer of City Airport Policeman Denied First Request for Parole

Kim Marks Published: December 14, 1985

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.

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