Youthful Offender Cases

Among the many types of criminal defense matters I have handled are youthful offender cases.  Among the criminal defense / youthful offender cases I have handled are several first degree murder cases.  This link is to an Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals criminal defense / youthful offender case that I was very successful on: http://www.state.ok.us/~oids/coca/MH.pdf 

M.H. was charged with first degree murder and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office was looking to try and sentence M.H., a 14 year old minor as an adult. 

I was able to convince a Tulsa County Judge to certify M.H. as a youthful offender after a hearing where I presented four witnesses in her defense. The four witnesses were physiological experts that all testified that M.H. should be classified as a youthful offender for punishment purposes. If M.H. was found to not qualify as a youthful offender she would be facing punishment of life, where M.H. would have to actually do at least 38 years, or life without parole, where M.H. would never be released from prison.

These are the only punishment options that M.H. would have if convicted of first degree murder and not found to be eligible as a youthful offender. Since her murder defense team, attorney Thomas Mortensen and I, were able to have M.H. certified as a youthful offender she will now be allowed to walk free by the time she is 20 years old.

The Tulsa County D.A.’s office appealed the Judge’s ruling in favor of our client, M.H., to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, the highest Court in the State of Oklahoma for criminal cases. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals found that the Tulsa County Judge that ruled for youthful offender status for M.H. was correct and the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the Tulsa County Special Judges ruling in favor of our client.