Comanche County jury finds man guilty of murder

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A Comanche County jury has found Michael Ishman guilty of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Ishman was sentenced to three consecutive life sentences, one for each crime he was found guilty of.

Ishman was charged with killing Eric Buckner in October of 2016. Testimony concluded Wednesday morning with the state calling their final four witnesses.

One of those witnesses, Diane Karnuth, testified that she was involved in a car crash with Ishman about a week after Eric Buckner's death. She testified Ishman drove off the road, but a man picked him up and brought him to her car, which was stopped at a gas station down the road.

She says Ishman took a black trash bag out of that person's car before approaching her to apologize. She says he went to the gas station, leaving the black trash bag sitting by the door. When he came out, she says he left the trash bag sitting there and returned to his car, saying he was going to get his insurance.

An Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper who responded to that crash also testified today, saying he arrived on the scene and arrested Ishman because the car he was driving was reported stolen. When that trooper spoke with Karnuth, she told them about the trash bag that had been left at the gas station. When the trooper searched that bag, he says they found two guns.

Those guns were sent to the OSBI and today, a forensic expert testified that spent cartridges found at the scene of Buckner's murder were a match to a 9-millimeter pistol found in that trash bag.

Jurors also heard testimony from the medical examiner, who walked through pictures of Buckner's autopsy. He said Buckner was shot three times.

The defense then called no witnesses before both sides delivered their closing arguments.

In the state's closing argument, the prosecution walked through witness testimony, retelling the story told over the last two days. They pointed out that Buckner having three gunshot wounds clearly proved the shooting was intentional...and asked jurors to use common sense when asking if Ishman did not commit the murder, why did he have the gun that the shell casings from the scene were shot from.

In the defense's closing, the focus was on inconsistencies within testimony. Defense attorney Lawrence Corrales reiterated the fact that Ishman was buying drugs from Buckner and pointed out that the only witness actually in the building testified that she had smoked meth 5 or 6 times that day.

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