Man Seeks To Withdraw Guilty Plea

Sunday, March 8th 2009, 2:47 pm
By: News On 6

Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A man who pleaded guilty in connection with a driveby shooting nearly two years ago may not have much of a chance getting his plea withdrawn.

On the advice of counsel, Jeremy Duane Crofford pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in January and was sentenced Feb. 20 to life in prison in the death of Richard Lee Smith.

A hearing on Crofford's request is set for March 20, but legal experts say Oklahoma law doesn't leave the 24-year-old much room for success.

Before defendants can change a plea to guilty or no contest, they must fill out a detailed form meant to ensure they are competent to make that decision.

Crofford's lawyers could not be reached for comment.

Shirley Nelson says her son was prepared to argue the Nov. 30, 2007, shooting was justified because he was defending himself until attorneys Amy McTeer and Silas Lyman persuaded him to plead guilty.