Man Found Guilty Of 2017 Murder Of McAlester Woman

A Pittsburgh County jury found Cody Ketchum guilty of murdering Holly Cantrell in 2017. The recommended sentence was life without parole. The jury also found Ketchum guilty of tampering with evidence.

Thursday, March 14th 2024, 3:33 am

By: News On 6


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A Pittsburg County jury finds a man guilty of murder and destroying evidence in the death of a McAlester woman in 2017.

The jury recommended life in prison without parole for Cody Ketchum. They deliberated for about 7 hours, and when the verdict was read, Ketchum put his head down.

The jury found Ketchum guilty in the murder of Holly Cantrell.

During his arrest, officers said evidence on Ketchum’s phone was what led to the charges.

Cantrell went missing in 2017 after leaving her job at the McAlester hospital during her lunch break.

Holly Cantrell’s remains were found a year later, but it took until 2020 to get them identified, and Cody Ketchum was charged in 2022 by a multi-county grand jury.

Ketchum told investigators he dropped her off at a fast food restaurant.

His attorney has said Ketchum cooperated with investigators and was being railroaded.

Prosecutors say much of the evidence in this case is text messages between Cantrell and Ketchum, along with GPS data from cell phones.

Ketchum’s defense attorneys argue there were issues with the cell phone data, and it shouldn’t have been used to convict him.

“You’ve brought forth 23 law enforcement officers from five different agencies to try to tie together and pin this on a man through the use of his text messages over a two-day period,” his attorney said. “In any other situation, when we’re facing literally life and death, relying on someone’s text messages sounds like a really bad idea.”

Ketchum will be held in the Pittsburg County jail until his sentencing.

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