Oklahoma Appeals Court Overturns Prison Release Of Man Who Killed Family In 2009 Crash
TULSA, Oklahoma - Another twist came on Thursday in the fate of a man convicted of killing a family of three in a 2009 Christmas Eve crash.
Last week, Steven Wade Jameson was released from prison after serving just four years of a 24-year sentence for three counts of first-degree manslaughter.
Killed in the crash were Michael Mulanax, 42, his wife Angela, 41, and their son James Mulanax, 18. According to the OSBI, Jameson tested positive for a controlled substance that day.
As part of the initial case in 2011, prosecutors argued Jameson's license was suspended when the fatal wreck took place. But Jameson's attorneys said, just this year, they learned he didn’t know his license was revoked then.
10/8/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Man Convicted In Deaths Of Three Out On Bond
Jameson was sentenced to the penitentiary in 2011 by now-retired District Judge Matthew Henry.
On Oct. 8, District Judge James Caputo granted his release from prison on a $60,000 bond following a post-conviction hearing requested by Jameson's attorney. At that hearing, the defense requested bond, arguing the Post-Conviction Procedure Act allowed for it.
Caputo granted that request, and Jameson walked out of prison with an ankle monitor after his bond was met.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler, however, filed a petition with the Court of Criminal Appeals and a ruling siding with prosecutors was issued on Thursday afternoon.
“Citing the Post-Conviction Procedure Act, the State argues that the District Court had no authority to grant Jameson’s request for bond prior to ruling on the defendant’s application for post-conviction relief. We agree,” the court says in the ruling.
The court ruling, led by Presiding Judge Clancy Smith, said the only reference to bail in the Act is in one state statute that says:
“If the court finds in favor of the applicant, it shall vacate and set aside the judgment and sentence and discharge or resentence him, or grant a new trial, or correct or modify the judgment and sentence may appear appropriate. The court shall enter any supplementary orders as to rearraignment, retrial, custody, bail, discharge, or other matters that may be necessary and proper.”
The ruling pointed out that Caputo has not ruled on Jameson’s application for post-conviction relief, so bail, as outlined in the statute as a supplementary order, is not authorized, it says.
“The District Court erred in granting Jameson’s request for bail,” the ruling said.
Jameson now is in custody at the Tulsa County jail.