A man being treated for schizophrenia pleaded guilty Thursday to killing a parole officer with the officer's gun and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Lester Kinchion, 21, of Midwest City, agreed to a deal with prosecutors to avoid the death penalty if convicted at trial of killing Jeffery Matthew McCoy.
Kinchion was charged with first-degree murder in the May 18 shooting death of McCoy, 32, of Norman, a parole and probation officer with the state Corrections Department.
Kinchion also pleaded guilty to two weapons-related charges and received a second life sentence plus 10 years. He waived his right to appeal the conviction.
He has been diagnosed with schizophrenia and is being treated with medication, Assistant Public Defender Cathy Hammarsteen said outside of court.
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder characterized by a breakdown of thought processes and poor emotional responsiveness. Symptoms include hallucinations and paranoid delusions.
A psychiatrist who evaluated Kinchion for his court-appointed attorneys told Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong that Kinchion was “competent” to participate in the proceedings, despite his condition.
McCoy was killed at a Midwest City residence in the 1400 block of Maple Drive when he arrived for a meeting with another man. Kinchion attacked McCoy when he arrived, shot the officer with his Corrections Department-issued 9 mm pistol, and then removed the officer's belt, baton and belongings from his lifeless body, police said.
Witnesses testified at Kinchion's preliminary hearing seeing him beat the officer then shoot him at close range, remove his belongings and pound his chest as he ran around the body.