Oklahoma Driver In Fatal Christmas Eve Crash Wants Released, Again
TULSA, Oklahoma - Editor's note: A previous version of this story included a headline that said the driver was drunk. That was incorrect. News On 6 regrets the error.
A man who pleaded guilty to three charges of manslaughter five years ago may get the chance to walk away a free man. That’s what a Tulsa County judge is considering in the case of 26-year-old Steven Jameson.
Jameson was a sophomore at Oklahoma State University when he crashed into another car near Sand Springs, killing three people on Christmas Eve 2009. Jameson tested positive for marijuana at the time.
10/8/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Man Convicted In Deaths Of 3 Out On Bond
A packed courtroom on Friday was full of tension and emotion for both families involved. Ultimately, no decision was made at this time.
Jameson pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree manslaughter and served four years of his 24-year sentence, but last month, a judge allowed him to post bond.
Judge James Caputo decided Jameson deserved to be able to bond out. But a week later, after the district attorney appealed, another judge put Jameson back behind bars.
10/15/2015 Related Story: Appeals Court Overturns Prison Release Of Man Who Killed Family In 2011 Crash
The family of the crash victims -- Michael, Angela and James Mulanax – says Jameson deserves to stay there.
“We know that he's guilty,” family member Linda Perkins said. “The world, if they've read all the facts and attended every hearing, know that he is guilty, and he should be held accountable and responsible for his actions.”
"We've suffered the worst that we could ever endure with the loss of our children. There's nothing that could be worse."
The hearing was continued until December 22.
As the judge said, he wants to hear more testimony and see more evidence.
The defense is now contending that Jameson's conviction was wrong because the state argued Jameson was driving without a license at the time of the crash. Jameson's attorney argues Jameson was never notified.
"This young man was involved in an accident, I mean, truly an accident that took three lives, tragically, and it's this very sad result that occurred," Jameson's attorney Clark Brewster said. "But he was charged with manslaughter for not having a driver's license."
The prosecution says the revoked license issue doesn't matter, because Jameson pleaded guilty to the crime.
"Kinda runs counter-intuitive that you get in front of a court and enter a plea of guilty, and then come back later and say, well, that's not really the case," district attorney Steve Kunzweiler said.