Assistant district attorney: recommended sentence in LaFortune Park rape trial sends a strong message


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Reported by: Brittany Jeffers
Updated: 2/07 9:27 pm Published: 2/07 9:19 pm


FOX23 has been following the investigation surrounding Willis McPherson since 2012, and on Friday night the jury recommended life without parole.

"This is life without parole. That means that he will never see the light of day. He will die in prison," said Erik Grayless, assistant district attorney.

FOX23 spoke with the assistant district attorneys after the verdict was read and they said the families on both sides, handled the news as best as they could.

"I know Ms. Keely walked out with the victim of the LaFortune case and she was very relieved, a sigh of relief from them, and the family, the family started crying," said Grayless.

Willis' family declined to comment after the sentencing but before it was handed down, the defendant's sister told FOX23 the trial was tough on the family.

They claimed there was shoddy police work done in this case and maintain McPherson's innocence.

McPherson has prior felony convictions and is now facing life in prison for rape, sodomy and assault. Gayless and Ashley Keely credited the victim's bravery in the case.

They said this sentencing should strike a chord in the community.

"It sends a strong message to Tulsa: We care, don't commit crimes in our neighborhood and community and if you commit a crime and it's a violent crime, we will sentence you accordingly," said Keely.

Formal sentencing will be on March 24.


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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

outspoken92 - 2/8/2014 1:06 PM
0 Votes
Certain cases and charges should automatically be death! Prison is not enough, and even in prison they get to live their everyday life as if it didnt happen!

Mayor Maynot - 2/7/2014 9:44 PM
1 Vote
We need to bring back public hanging. Pick nick baskets gallows and lunch on a pleasant Sunday afternoon.
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