Tulsa Man's Guilty Plea Thrown Out In Deadly Christmas Eve Car Crash
TULSA, Oklahoma - A judge threw out Steven Wade Jameson's guilty plea in a car crash that killed Michael and Angela Mulanax and their son James on Christmas Eve of 2009.
Prosecutors said Jameson was driving 70 miles an hour on Highway 51 west of Sand Springs in a blizzard when his Hummer hit the Mulanax family's car. Prosecutors said Jameson did not have a valid license and had marijuana in his system the night of the crash.
After pleading guilty, Jameson had been sentenced to 24 years in prison.
In January of 2016, a judge vacated Jameson's manslaughter conviction and freed him.
Prosecutors appealed and the Oklahoma State Court of Criminal Appeals overturned that decision last summer and he went back to prison.
Jameson took the stand for more than an hour on Friday, January 27, 2017, answering questions about a letter his lawyer sent him in 2011. Jameson said his lawyer told him in that letter he had no defense, so he pleaded guilty.
On Friday the Judge decided Jameson was ill-advised by that letter, so he granted Jameson's request to withdraw his guilty plea and ordered Jameson to stand trial in the case.
"My family and I are profoundly sorry for the grief this accident has caused them all," said Jameson's mother, Debra Lowery-Jameson. "Each and every one."
The judge set Jameson's bond at $100,000 and Jameson posted bond Friday evening and is out of prison.
The victims' family called the ruling a joke.
"Judge Caputo had his mind made up before this all started. There is a strange relationship between Judge Caputo and the defendant's attorney," said Jim Perkins, family of the victims.
Jameson is due back in court on February 8th.