Oklahoma man claims self-defense in slaying

Oklahoman Modified: August 31, 2012 at 3:12 pm •  Published: August 31, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma man who allegedly killed and dismembered his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend acted in self-defense, his attorney said Friday.

Justin Hammer, 30, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the Aug. 7 death of Brandon Duran, 32, whose body parts were put in cement-filled buckets that were thrown into a pond in Elmore City.

Defense attorney Irven Box said after a brief hearing Friday in Garvin County District Court that Hammer shot Duran after Duran forced his way into Hammer's home.

“Justin's claim is one of self-defense,” Box said. “He (Hammer) had to defend himself after (Duran) threatened him; Justin shot him to protect himself.

“The facts after the shooting are pretty heinous, but the facts before that are not,” Box said.

Court documents say Hammer said he cut up Duran's body to dispose of it because he panicked after the shooting.

Prosecutors did not immediately return phone calls for comment. District Attorney Greg Mashburn said previously that he has not decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Authorities found Duran's body Aug. 10 in the buckets in a pond on Hammer's property, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

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