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Court Upholds Conviction, Death Sentence In Trooper's Death

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ A federal appeals court Wednesday upheld the death sentence of a Vian man convicted by a federal jury of killing an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper in 1999.

Kenneth Eugene Barrett, 45, received the federal death sentence in 2005 after he was found guilty of intentionally killing a state law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of his duty.

The federal trial marked the third time Barrett faced state or federal charges for the killing of Trooper David ``Rocky'' Eales.

A Sequoyah County jury deadlocked on a murder charge against Barrett in 2002. At a subsequent state trial in 2004, Barrett was convicted of first-degree manslaughter and assault with a deadly weapon. He was sentenced to 30 years in state prison.

U.S. Attorney Sheldon J. Sperling said the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver was unanimous in its affirmation of Barrett's conviction and death sentence.

Aside from the death sentence, Barrett was also sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for using a firearm during a drug trafficking crime with death resulting and using a firearm during a federal crime of violence that resulted in death.

``Out of a dark murderous tragedy, we see today a bright ray of judicial light,'' Sperling said in a statement. ``We will continue the battle to uphold courageous jury and judicial decisions in this epic case.

``There is no open season on law enforcement in the Eastern District of Oklahoma.''

Eales and Trooper John ``Buddy'' Hamilton, who was wounded in the assault, led a caravan of police cars on Sept. 24, 1999, that drove to Barrett's rural Sequoyah County home before dawn to serve a ``no-knock'' search warrant for drugs.

Barrett had said that because the lead vehicle had no emergency lights on that he did not know he was shooting at police.

Watch the video: Death Sentenced Up Held For Convicted Killer
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