Man is convicted of killing Oklahoma City bar manager in 2011

Jerael Burton, 24, was convicted Thursday afternoon of shooting and killing a northwest Oklahoma City bar manager outside the business on Aug. 11, 2011. Jurors chose a sentence of life without parole on the first-degree murder charge.
by Matt Dinger Published: February 13, 2014
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A jury on Thursday afternoon convicted an Oklahoma City man of shooting and killing a bar manager.

Jerael Burton, 24, was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on a first-degree murder charge in Oklahoma County District Court.

Burton was convicted of shooting and killing Joel Rodriguez on Aug. 10, 2011, outside of Lucky's bar, 4007 NW 10.

Rodriguez, the bar's manager, had gone outside to confront Burton about shooting at another person in the parking lot when Burton pulled out a gun and shot Rodriguez at point blank range in the head.

Rodriguez died at the scene.

The incident was captured on the bar's video surveillance equipment. In the footage, a man wearing dark pants and a white undershirt is seen pulling the gun, firing once and then running away.

Burton had been in and out of the bar the day of the shooting, prosecutors said.

Officers searching the area with police dogs found Burton hiding in a darkened northwest Oklahoma City neighborhood near the bar.

When he was arrested, Burton also was wearing a white undershirt with a hole in the same location as the man on surveillance video.

The location and style of tattoos on the man in surveillance video also matched Burton's.

The location of the arrest was about 10 miles from Burton's home, prosecutors said.

Jurors also convicted Burton on a count of assault with a dangerous weapon. They chose a 10-year sentence for that charge.

Burton previously had pleaded guilty to marijuana possession in 2010, robbery with a dangerous weapon and possession of a firearm in 2009, Oklahoma County court records show.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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