man convicted of raping and drowning an Oklahoma State University student gets life in prison

Saturday, December 18th 2004, 12:04 pm
By: News On 6

STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) _ A deal that gives a man convicted of raping and drowning an Oklahoma State University student life in prison without parole will provide some finality for the victim's family, a prosecutor said Friday.

A second sentencing trial for Lloyd Edward Mollett Jr. was to have begun in February but the district attorney's office and Mollett's lawyers filed a joint motion to waive the jury trial in exchange for the other sentence.

Prosecutors were going to again seek the death penalty for Mollett, who was convicted of killing Sri Sedjati Sugeng, an interior design student from Indonesia.

District Attorney Rob Hudson said deciding to waive the jury trial was difficult because of the age of the case and the unavailability of many witnesses from the first trial.

``We ultimately turned to the victim's family,'' he said.

Sugeng's family attended the first trial and returned home after Mollett was sentenced to die.

``The family said they just could not come back here and go through it all again,'' said Laura Austin Thomas, one of the trial prosecutors who tracked down the family.

Sugeng, 21, was raped in the bedroom of her Stillwater apartment, then drowned in her bathtub, where friends found her body Oct. 25, 1993.

In 2001, a federal judge overturned Mollett's death sentence and sent it back to Payne County District Court to retry the sentencing phase of the trial.