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Man found guilty of baby rape, murder

Diana Baldwin Modified: June 24, 2003 at 12:00 am •  Published: June 24, 2003

Death row inmate Charles Frederick Warner was convicted Monday night of raping and murdering his live-in girlfriend's 11-month-old baby in 1997.

This was the second time an Oklahoma County District Court jury has handed down a guilty verdict against Warner for first-degree murder and first-degree rape in the Aug. 22, 1997, death of Adriana Waller.

>>UPDATE: Execution failure in Oklahoma: Clayton Lockett's vein explodes, dies of heart attack; Warner's execution delayed (published April 29, 2014)

After his first trial, Warner was sentenced to die by lethal injection for the slaying. He also received a 999-year prison sentence for the rape conviction. Later, he won an appeal.

This time, jurors recommended a 75-year sentence on the rape conviction.

Jurors are expected to return today to begin hearing evidence in the penalty phase of the trial. They will decide whether Warner should receive the death penalty or be sentenced to life in prison with or without the possibility of parole for the murder conviction.

Prosecutors are again seeking the death penalty.

Warner, who has been on death row since 1998, was granted a new trial in 2001 because the appellate court said District Judge Virgil Black erred in denying defense motions to dismiss some of the potential jurors called to hear the case.

Warner, who turned 36 Friday, also is charged in Oklahoma County in a separate case with abusing and raping a 5-year-old girl. He is accused of beating the girl with an extension cord and belt. Those charges are pending.

Jurors deliberated for about 3 1/2 hours Monday night before returning their guilty verdicts shortly after they received answers from the judge on the last two of their four questions.

Black told jurors there was no maximum sentence on the rape conviction and that the decision of parole is a question for the Corrections Department. State law requires a defendant to serve 85 percent of the sentence on a rape conviction.

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