Oklahoma v. YOA, Cleveland County, CF-2010-1478
YOA charged with 2nd Degree Felony Murder - DUI (carrying prison term of 20-life @ 85%), Leaving Scene of Fatality Accident, and False Reporting of a Crime. YOA drove away from a Norman party and rear-ended a car sitting at a stop light, killing the driver. At trial, the state presented seven (7) witnesses who, with YOA, had gone to Buffalo Wild Wings on the eve of the fatal crash, until close, and then, on to a Norman apartment to continue drinking into the next morning. Each witness stated that YOA was drunk by the time he left the apartment. Mr. Pierce, by thorough, animated, and unrelenting cross-examination, exposed these witnesses' bias, drunkenness, and unreliability to such an extent that, on Mr. Pierce's request, the judge threw out the Murder/DUI charge. The court, nevertheless, granted the State the chance to try to convince the jury of a 1st Degree Manslaughter charge that also carried a prison term of 20-life @ 85% (meaning that 85% of sentence must be served before release); but, the State's closing arguments failed against the power of Mr. Pierce's summation. The jury, instead, found YOA guilty of Negligent Homicide, a misdemeanor, that carried only one (1) year in the county jail.