Man convicted of local murder
A 32-year-old Tulsa man was handed three life prison sentences Wednesday after a Comanche County jury convicted him of murder and other charges stemming from the 2016 death of a 25-year-old man at a northwest Lawton apartment complex.
Michael Ishman was convicted of first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and possession of a firearm after prior felony conviction in connection with the Oct. 30, 2016, shooting death of Eric Dewayne Buckner at Pear Tree Landing Apartments, 2006 NW Taft. Ishman requested immediate sentencing, and District Judge Gerald Neuwirth handed down the sentences recommended by the jury life in prison with the possibility of parole. Each sentence will be served consecutively. Under Oklahoma's guidelines for life sentencing with the possibility, life sentences are set at 45 years and Ishman will be required to serve 85 percent of the sentences before he is eligible for parole.
State recommends life without parole
The prosecution had recommended sentences of life in prison without parole for each count due to the violent death suffered by Buckner and the fact that Ishman had three previous felony convictions from Tulsa County, including possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of controlled dangerous drugs and possession of a firearm after prior felony conviction.
"He knew he shouldn't have had a gun (due to his prior conviction) but ignored that," said Assistant District Attorney Kyle Cabelka.
Defense asks for chance of parole
Defense Attorney Lawrence Corrales pointed out that Ishman would be 70 by the time he would be eligible for parole. He asked for a sentence of 20 years on the defendant's first-degree robbery conviction and four years for possession of a firearm. Cabelka responded that the murder victim would be age 27 today if he had not been gunned down by Ishman.
The case went to the jury at around 2:30 p.m. and the verdict came around 4:15 p.m. The jury then deliberated on sentencing, returning at 5:50 p.m.
State reiterates witness testimony in closing argument
In the state's closing argument, Assistant District Attorney Evan Watson argued that several separate stories from witnesses proved that Ishman shot and killed Buckner and robbed Buckner and another man, Charles Tucker. He pointed out that Ishman was arrested by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on the Turner Turnpike nearly a week later and was in possession of a black bag with clothing and two firearms, including the murder weapon. Watson also argued about Ishman being angered after losing Brandon Truewell just hours before the Oct. 30 homicide at a local casino.Truewell broke away from Ishman and his ex-girlfriend, Dimarie Castaneda, and informed casino security that his life was in danger. . Watson said Ishman got angry at Buckner for not knowing the whereabouts of Truewell. He also said shell casings found at the shooting scene were ruled to have been a direct match to the pistol later found in Ishman's possession.