Lawton teenager convicted of manslaughter

Lawton_Terrance Parker was found guilty Tuesday of manslaughter in the April 2007 shooting death of Dre Moss in Lawton.  The jury reached the verdict after hearing testimony from the defendant.  They spent around a little less than three hours in deliberations before returning with their decision.  Parker had been charged with second-degree murder, but the jury was given the option of finding him guilty on the lesser charge of manslaughter, which they did.

Parker was the only witness to testify Tuesday and claimed self-defense, saying he and Moss argued over Parker's girlfriend.  He claimed Moss reached into his car, grabbed his neck removed his "grill", a decorative mouthpiece, and mangled it.  Parker said that while Moss was provoking him, he shot him four times as they continued to wrestle.

During cross-examination, Prosecutor Eddie Valdez pointed out that a forensic expert said there were no visible marks on Parker's neck.  He said that the shooting couldn't have been at point-blank range because physical evidence suggested that there had to have been some space between the two men.

In his closing statement, Daniel Hutcherson, Parker's attorney, told the jury that Parker was only acting in self-defense because the four men were older and bigger.  He said the marks on Parker's neck weren't visible for the photo because the picture was not taken until one week after the shooting.  Hutcherson insisted, when addressing the jury, that Parker did not intend to kill anyone and he was only protecting himself.

The jury recommended that Parker serve a 25-year sentence.  His formal sentencing will be Friday, September 21st.