POTEAU (AP) — A jury in eastern Oklahoma has convicted a Spiro man of two counts of first-degree murder in the 2012 shooting death of his pregnant girlfriend.
The jury deliberated almost seven hours Thursday before convicting 27-year-old Christopher Kenyon Simpson in the death of 20-year-old Ka’loni Flynn, of Fort Smith, Ark.
The jury recommended the maximum sentence of life in prison without parole, the Southwest Times Record reported. He is to be sentenced Nov. 8.
Prosecutors allege that Simpson shot Flynn twice in the head because he did not want another child to support. A DNA expert testified that Simpson fathered the fetus.
“I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad we got the verdict we got,” said Flynn’s father, Herbert Flynn. “She deserved it.”
During closing arguments, Crawford County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Jacob Howell showed a photograph of Flynn’s body in the driver’s seat of car, with bullet wounds to her temple and forehead. Some audience members gasped loudly.
“We know that’s how we got here,” Howell said, indicating the photo.
Prosecutors acknowledged that the case against Simpson was complicated and mostly circumstantial.
“I hope we showed you this was investigated thoroughly, and that every possible suspect was investigated and excluded except one,” Howell said.
Simpson’s attorney, Warren Gotcher, argued that no witnesses could place Simpson at the shooting scene and that his client was innocent.
But prosecutor Anthony Evans said Simpson was trying to deflect blame because “the defendant has the spotlight on him, and it’s hot, and he needs to get it off him. So what does he do? He pushes it over here. Desperate men do desperate things.”