New sentencing hearing denied in fatal stabbing

The Associated Press - October 24, 2019 3:59 pm

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) – A Cleveland County judge has denied a request for a new sentencing hearing by a man serving life in prison without parole for a fatal stabbing that was committed when he was 17.

The Norman Transcript reports that Judge Thad Balkman on Wednesday rejected the request by now 25-year-old Sebastian Shepherd.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that sentencing juvenile offenders to life without parole is unconstitutional, but made an exception if “irreparable corruption” is found.

Prosecutors say Balkman did “due diligence” in Shepherd’s case and considered all pertinent information.

Defense attorney Lydia Fields says the ruling will be appealed to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

Shepherd and two co-defendants were convicted of the 2011 stabbing death of Arthur Strozewski during a robbery of Strozewski’s Oklahoma City home.

 

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