Judge issues order that could aid convicted murderer's appeal

Monday, February 11th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ The trial for a man convicted of killing his teen-age stepdaughter might have ended differently had the jury heard testimony from a woman who claims someone else killed the girl, a judge says.

District Judge Michael Gassett issued a 22-page order that could help Oscar ``J.R.'' Patterson III win a new trial.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals plans to review the order and decide whether to overturn Patterson's conviction.

The 41-year-old was sentenced to die for the first-degree murder of his stepdaughter, 15-year-old Tiffiany Beverly of Broken Arrow. He has insisted he is innocent.

Testimony from the prosecution's star witness, Paul Bryan, was the only evidence that ``directly connects'' Patterson to the murder, the judge wrote. Bryan testified in the 2000 trial that Patterson confessed to the murder.

Now a woman who says she smoked crack cocaine with Bryan claims he threatened her in March 2001, saying he would kill her ``like I killed Tiffiany Beverly.''

Jobanue Kinser also claims that Bryan once said the teen-ager ``deserved to die'' and he did not care ``if that other man pays for what I did.''

The judge said in his order that ``there is a reasonable probability that this testimony would have at least created reasonable doubt in the mind of at least one juror.''