OKLAHOMA CITY — A jury reached a verdict in the trial of an Oklahoma teenager accused of murder and arson.
The victims in this case 87-year-old Boyd and 86-year-old Doris Haynes. They were killed in a fire – that was ignited at their home back in 2011.
Triston Owen now 17 years old was accused of making a molotov cocktail that started the fatal fire. The jury found him guilty of two counts of first degree manslaughter with four years for each count; and also guilty of first degree arson with ten years.
Defense Attorney Francis Courbois says he was surprised with the verdict. “There was no proof he was near the fire,” he said.
Fire experts testified the cause of the flames remain officially undetermined.
Assistant District Attorney Jennifer Chance said “I believe the verdict was a compromise on the first two counts.” Chance also said she believed with the verdict for arson.
Owen was initially charged with first degree murder which had the chance of giving him a sentence of life in prison. The jury was given the option of handing down the alternate verdict of manslaughter.
Owen will be sentenced June 15th. The prosecution believes the judge will follow the jury’s recommendation.