Jury Finds Tulsa Man Guilty In Murder Of Pregnant Girlfriend
TULSA, Oklahoma - A Tulsa County jury returned two guilty verdicts in the trial of Kenneth Hopkins Wednesday night.
Prosecutors say four years ago, Hopkins shot and killed his pregnant girlfriend and their unborn child.
The jury only took two hours and forty five minutes to reach the guilty verdict and recommend life without parole.
Wednesday, Hopkins' attorneys and prosecutors made their closing arguments before handing the case to the jury.
Prosecutors said Hopkins shot and killed Wesson while she was sitting in her car, waiting to meet up with him.
Hopkins' attorneys said their client didn't kill anyone and said the murder weapon was found in another man's car.
Prosecutors said Wesson was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with Hopkins baby when she was killed. They said Hopkins killed Wesson because he didn't want to support another child.
During the trial, the victim's cousin testified Hopkins wanted Wesson to terminate the pregnancy because he already had three children - a 1-year-old with Wesson and two others with another woman.
The cousin said Wesson decided to have the baby because the 19-year-old didn't have the money to pay for an abortion.
Prosecutors closed with arguments that Wesson was calling Hopkins right up until the moments before she was shot multiple times.
Kenneth Elmore of the District Attorney's Special Victim's unit said the guilty verdict is closure for the family.
"It’s very horrendous anytime we're talking about taking a human life, but when you’re talking about not only a mother, but an unborn child, we hope the public would know from this that Steve Kunzweiler’s dedicated a team of prosecutors to prosecuting these types of cases and that the Tulsa police homicide unit is working very hard and diligently to make sure that people who commit these types of crimes are held accountable," he said.
Defense attorney Stephen Lee said he respects the jury's decision.
"That's what it is. The jury made the decision, that's the way our system works and that's what it was," he said.
Formal sentencing is scheduled for February 3rd.