Statements made by teenage murder suspect in 2017 allowed to be used in court, judge rules

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NORMAN, Okla. (The Norman Transcript/KFOR) – A judge ruled this week that statements made by a teenage murder suspect in 2017 may be used in court.

James Smith, now 20, is one of four people charged in the shooting death of 20-year-old Nathaniel Ewing. Cody Eli Turbeville, then 17, Tyrek Ladrius Turner, then 20, and Armani Ashanti Morgan, then 19, were also charged.  

James Arion Smith

Ewing had allegedly arranged to sell drugs to the suspects.

Smith, who was 17 at the time of the murder, allegedly told detectives he was the one who shot and Ewing.

According to the Norman Transcript, Smith’s attorney argued the statements Smith made were given “under duress and were not voluntary during a two-and-a-half-hour interrogation.”

However, on Monday, a judge ruled that Smith knowingly waived his Miranda rights before confessing.

Turbeville and Morgan pleaded guilty in the case and were sentenced to 10 years in prison and 10 years of probation.

Turner is still facing a first-degree murder charge. He is due in court on March 27.

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