NORMAN — A Cleveland County jury convicted a Noble man of first-degree manslaughter Thursday in the 2012 traffic death of Safari Belay McDoulett.
McDoulett, 36, of Oklahoma City, was the community relations director for the Oklahoma County District 2 office when she was killed Feb. 20, 2012, on State Highway 9 near 120th Avenue SE.
Mark Allen Peters, 54, was found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs when his Dodge Ram pickup crossed the centerline and struck McDoulett's Toyota Sequoia. She died at the scene.
Jurors deliberated about two hours before convicting Peters of manslaughter, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and obstructing an officer.
In a second sentencing stage, the jury deliberated another two hours before recommending that Peters serve 38 years in prison on the manslaughter charge and one year on the possession of a controlled substance charge. They also recommended fines totaling $2,000.
Jurors were told in the sentencing phase of the trial that Peters holds three former convictions on drug charges.
According to witnesses during the trial, Peters was seen crossing the centerline on SH 9 several times before swerving into McDoulett's vehicle. Investigators said blood samples taken from Peters that evening indicated he was under the influence of hydrocodone, a painkiller, and diazepam, an anti-anxiety drug.
Both prescription pills and some unprescribed medications were found in his possession when he was taken into custody after the wreck, investigators said.
District Judge Tracy Schumacher presided over the trial that began last week. Lori Puckett and Clint Pratt prosecuted the case. Peters was represented by defense attorney Charles Douglas.