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Man Found Guilty In Case Of Tulsa Toddler's Death

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Larry Neeley has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a 19-month-old boy. Larry Neeley has been found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a 19-month-old boy.
JJ Hall's body was smashed against a bedroom dresser. His liver was lacerated and the toddler died within minutes. JJ Hall's body was smashed against a bedroom dresser. His liver was lacerated and the toddler died within minutes.

By Joshua Brakhage, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- A Tulsa man was found guilty of first-degree murder in the death of a 19-month-old boy Monday evening.

Following deliberations Monday evening, a jury found Larry Neeley guilty. The Tulsa County District Court jury took several hours to decide his fate, but settled on a sentence of life in prison with parole.

10/19/2009  Related Story: Jury Deliberates In Case Of Tulsa Toddler's Death

After the verdict at the Tulsa County courthouse, the 19-month-old's grandparents shared a kiss and a thumbs up.

They told The News On 6, they never got to celebrate their grandson's second birthday, but now feel they have justice.

"We're happy with it. It's been a long battle," said J.J. Hall's grandfather.

Jurors took a little more than four hours to decide Larry Neeley was guilty of first-degree murder.

J.J. Hall's body was smashed against a bedroom dresser. His liver was lacerated and the toddler died within minutes. Doctors say the injuries were equal to the damage done in a car crash.

Larry Neeley admitted to pulling little J.J. off his bunk bed, but says he never meant for the boy to get hurt.

Jurors didn't believe his story, and refused to reduce the charge to second-degree manslaughter.

"Nothing about this case was easy and my thoughts and prayers are with both sides and with the jurors, because I know it was difficult," said Jake Cain, Tulsa County Prosecutor.

Jurors recommended life with parole. That's the minimum possible sentence for first-degree murder.

Larry Neeley would have to spend 38 years in prison before he's eligible for parole.

 

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