Teen-ager given three concurrent life sentences

Wednesday, December 1st 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

EL RENO, Okla. (AP) -- A judge in Canadian County has sentenced an El Reno teen-ager to three concurrent life sentences for setting a fire that left three dead. Ryan Owen McCarty, 18, was convicted in November of first-degree murder.

District Judge Edward Cunningham made the sentencing decision Tuesday after hearing from relatives of two victims as well as McCarty's supporters. McCarty's mother, Reta, said she hoped to see her son free one day. "I'd like to have one more Christmas with my son before I die," she said.

McCarty was convicted of setting the fire Aug. 27, 1998, at the West Oaks Apartments. The fire claimed the lives of Johnny Joe LeBleu, 24, Felicia Chisholm, 16, and Ms. Chisholm's unborn child. A psychiatrist testified during the trial that McCarty's 1994 stroke and a series of personal setbacks stunted his emotional development. Although 17 at the time of the fire, the psychiatrist said McCarty had the mind of someone who was several years younger.