trialpic

Several people wait inside Judge Stephen Kistler's courtroom for the verdict in a manslaughter case.

Payne County jurors recommended a sentence of five years in the Department of Corrections for Christopher Tucker, who had a five-day trial for first-degree manslaughter. 

On Friday, the jurors heard closing arguments from both sides.

Assistant District Attorney Kevin Etherington opened up the closing arguments by telling the jury Tucker had told multiple stories Aug. 11, 2017, after the fatal collision. 

He brought up Tucker’s blood alcohol content was “some five points over the legal limit.”

Etherington told the jury that there wasn’t any reaction by Tucker at the time of the collision, and said there could only be two reasons for that. One reason is that Tucker didn’t see the vehicle in front of him brake, and the second is that Tucker couldn’t react appropriately, possibly because of alcohol. 

He also brought up the high speed that Tucker had been accused of driving at.

Ethrington brought up the opinions of Janine Arvizu, a chemist auditor and witness for the defense. 

She told the jury that Tucker’s blood test results were unreliable, among other issues. 

Etherington told the jury that Arvizu is a “professional witness,” and that she makes her money based on testifying. 

Alan Woodland, a DUI specialty lawyer and representation for Tucker, disputed the comments Etherington made against Arvizu. 

He also told the jury during closing arguments that Tucker was wrongfully charged. 

The jurors had the opportunity to include three misdemeanor charges in the punishment if they didn’t think first-degree manslaughter DUI or first-degree manslaughter reckless driving was proven by the state.

They could have found Tucker guilty of negligent homicide, speeding or driving under the influence. 

Ultimately, they found him guilty of first-degree manslaughter reckless driving, which carries a sentence of four years to life in prison.

The jury gave their recommendation of five years. Judge Stephen Kistler will impose a sentence for Tucker at 1:30 p.m. July 6. 

Tucker was allowed to remain free and was told to appear for his sentencing.

Trending Video

Recommended for you