Court upholds death penalty in Oklahoma woman’s fiery death

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OKLAHOMA CITY – The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the death penalty given a man convicted of setting his girlfriend on fire, causing her death.

The court Thursday handed down the ruling to 36-year-old Donnie Harris of Talihina, who was convicted of first-degree murder for the death of 25-year-old Kristi Ferguson, of Pocola.

Among other things, the court rejected claims that Harris did not receive a fair trial.

Harris was accused of dousing Ferguson with gasoline and setting her on fire on Feb. 18, 2012. She suffered second- and third-degree burns over 50% of her body and died 19 days later.

A Le Flore County jury convicted Harris and recommended the death penalty after finding the murder especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.

Harris’ attorney, Kristi Christopher, declined comment on the ruling.

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