It took the jury just over four hours to decide on a life sentence for Michael Spears, who is charged with first degree murder.
In November of 2017, Spears, 53, was arrested in connection with the murder of Mark McKinney.
During court proceedings spears claimed the act fell under the “Stand Your Ground Law” and that he acted in self-defense.
“Spears claimed self-defense but jurors did not agree as the only defensive wounds were founds on McKinney, who was stabbed six times and bludgeoned with Spears’ sword,” according to a statement issued by the Rogers County District Attorney’s office.
“Prosecutors argued the deadly attack took place over an extended period of time and was not committed in the heat of passion but with intent. The Judge allowed the jury to consider finding Spears guilty of a lesser crime of manslaughter.”
The district attorney’s office stated that “Investigators learned Spears waited 12 hours to contact police during which time he told another friend to take any money McKinney had on him, pocketed the victim’s cell phone and asked his sister if she’d help him get rid of the body in a lake.”
“Spears’ story changed multiple times during the investigation and there was no basis to find this was anything less than murder. It was a vicious attack, the victim suffered and evidence shows Mr. McKinney was severely beaten, stabbed six times and with the final blow Spears buried his sword to the hilt in his victim’s body,” said Rogers County Chief Prosecutor Isaac Shields.
The second man arrested that November day at Spears’ house, Larry Gene McCoy Jr., testified for the prosecution during Spears’ trial. The case against him is still pending.
The Judge set formal sentencing for Spears on May 6, 2019.