Oklahoma man convicted of murder is innocent, OCU Law School project claims

Leaders with the Oklahoma Innocence Project at the Oklahoma City University School of Law announced Wednesday they believe Karl Fontenot, an Oklahoma man convicted of murder, is innocent.
by Jaclyn Cosgrove Modified: July 24, 2013 at 11:38 pm •  Published: July 25, 2013

Murphy said she could not comment on whether the Oklahoma Innocence Project is working on Ward's case.

During Wednesday's news conference, Murphy gave examples of conflicting evidence in Fontenot's case.

“The state's theory both in the joint trial and in Karl's own trial in 1988 rested on the fact that Ms. Haraway had been raped, stabbed, beaten and set on fire,” Murphy said. “When her remains were actually uncovered, the Oklahoma County medical examiner stated the fact that she died from a single gunshot wound to the head, her bones had not been burned, there was no indication of beating, nothing that had been established in the state's case.”

Murphy said Fontenot had an alibi during the time of Haraway's disappearance. He told police during a lie-detector test that he was at a party with specific people. Witnesses from the party told police that Fontenot was at the party, Murphy said. Fontenot also shared his alibi with his trial attorney.

“None of that was presented during his case,” she said. “The police had information they did not disclose, and it was never presented by his defense counsel as well.”

Murphy said she has not been in contact with Haraway's family. There is no evidence that Fontenot and Haraway knew each other, she said.

Haraway worked at a convenience store at the time of her disappearance. Murphy said that Haraway's family and friends told police that, before she died, Haraway was being harassed with obscene phone calls and by people who came into the store.

“She was concerned to the point where she was pursuing buying a gun,” Murphy said. “This was a woman who was afraid of someone she potentially knew, and the police were aware of this and did not disclose to anyone, nor did they pursue it themselves.”

Contributing: Joey Stipek, Staff Writer

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by Jaclyn Cosgrove
Medical and Health Reporter
Jaclyn Cosgrove writes about health, public policy and medicine in Oklahoma, among other topics. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate. Jaclyn grew up in the southeast region of the state and enjoys writing about rural Oklahoma. She is...
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We will be moving for an evidentiary hearing to present our case to the court, and after that the court will make a decision provided everything moves according to statute.”

Tiffany Murphy,
Director of the Oklahoma Innocence Project at the Oklahoma City University School of Law

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