LOGAN COUNTY, Okla. – A Logan County jury convicted Nathan Leforce of killing Deputy David Wade back in 2017, and in a late-night hearing on Thursday, the judge ruled that Leforce should spend the rest of his life behind bars without parole.
The sentence was met with a reaction of shock from family members and those who knew Deputy Wade.
“It’s not what we expected,” said Logan County Sheriff Damon Devereaux.
“We are disappointed and to be honest, we are angry,” Jamie Alexander, Wade’s cousin, added.
That reaction of anger, hurt and pain came after prosecutors asked that Leforce face the death penalty for his crime. The judge did not agree.
“We do not understand how the vicious intentional murder of a law enforcement officer does not warrant the death penalty,” Alexander said.
“He stood for everything that we stand for when we put the uniform on, when we take the oath to become a public servant, and he died doing what he loved,” Sheriff Devereaux added.
“The undeniable truth was David’s death was completely unnecessary. He was murdered by an individual acting out of hatred,” Alexander said.
It was a hatred that was specifically aimed at law enforcement.
Nathan Leforce killed Deputy Wade when Wade came to serve an eviction notice to someone other than Leforce, who lived where Leforce just happened to be.
“We believe that the majority of citizens agree with us that it is completely unacceptable for law enforcement officers to be targeted simply because they wear that uniform,” Alexander said.
Leforce will not be put to death by the state, and his defense attorney hopes that with the leniency of the judge, Leforce will find a way to make amends for his brutal crime.
“We really believe that Nathan will try to redeem himself and use his life for good,” Gretchen Mosley, Leforce’s defense attorney, said.
Deputy Wade’s family also hopes this unnecessary crime will serve as an example of what others should not do.
“Our world would certainly be a different place without the thin blue line that stands between the good and evil of this world,” Alexander said.
Thursday night’s sentencing comes after the jury on the case recommended Leforce spend 30 years in prison for larceny of a motor vehicle, plus 37 years for first-degree armed robbery.
When the jury landed at an impasse on the death penalty, the judge decided Leforce’s fate.
Formal sentencing is set to happen on September 20th.