Tulsa Man Chooses To Represent Himself In Murder Trial
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa man charged with murder is representing himself in his own trial, choosing not to use his public defender.
Antonio Smith was charged with murder for the shooting death of his former stepfather, Christopher Williams.
A public defender was on hand in case Smith had any questions, but Smith represented himself – cross-examining witnesses and even testifying in his own defense.
Smith testified that Williams abused him when he was younger and had sexually abused his little sisters.
He told the jury that he was there when Williams was shot, but he said it was a family member who actually pulled the trigger. Smith said, “I was jealous. I wanted the credit,” but he stated that he’s not a murderer.
He argued that, if he’s found guilty, it should only be as an accessory.
Smith is already serving a 30-year sentence for drug trafficking.
The jury found Smith guilty of accessory and recommended a life sentence.
Prosecutors say even though the jury didn't ultimately find him guilty of murder, they still sent a strong message.
"I think this is a resounding statement against that," said Assistant District Attorney Kevin Gray. "An indication that a jury of Tulsa County folks doesn't believe in vigilante justice, doesn't think it's appropriate to take justice into their own hands."
Smith is scheduled to be sentenced on October 18th.