Ardmore man found guilty in fatal stabbing

(UPDATE: 5/12/17 @ 6:45 p.m.)

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII)-- A man who stabbed and killed a man during an argument last year was found guilty of manslaughter Friday afternoon.

"It's just sad, what happened." Neighbor Charlotte Adams said.

Adams remembers that night last July, when a man was stabbed and killed at her apartment complex.

"It could've gotten up underneath the collar there, that was too close." Adams said.

19-year-old Payton Lockwood was arguing with Syler Walker, when Walker drew a knife and stabbed him in the chest. Lockwood died at the hospital a short time later.

"It's not right. You just can't go out there, taking matters into your own hands." Adams said.

Originally, the charge was second degree murder, but the prosecution lowered it to first degree manslaughter, meaning he could have gotten as little as 4 years in prison.

"One of the scenarios in which manslaughter would be applicable, is whenever you're claiming you were acting in self defense, but essentially you're bringing a knife to a fist fight, and that's what the evidence was in this case." District Attorney Craig Ladd said.

Ladd says the prosecutor in the case ultimately decided on the change, and he praised her for all her diligence that went into the trial and the decision.

"After a thorough examination of the evidence, my first assistant, Heather Cooper, tried the case, and who did a fantastic job trying the case, determined manslaughter in the first degree was the appropriate charge." Ladd said.

The defense claimed self defense, but the prosecution argued there's a limit on use of force.

"Just because somebody starts a fight with you or there's a physical altercation, it doesn't authorize you to pull a knife and stab him when they're unarmed." Ladd said.

And Adams agrees.

"Whether he meant to do it or not, the point is, he done it." Adams said.

Adams says it was a sad situation, that just went too far.

"I feel sorry for the young boy, he's got a lot years, but I feel sorry for the mother that lost a son," Adams said. "Basically, they both lost."

If the judge agrees with the jury's sentence recommendation, Walker will be close to 40 by the time he's released. But with good behavior, he could be out just before his 36th birthday.

His formal sentencing has been set for June 14th.

(ORIGINAL:)

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) -- A jury found Skyler Walker guilty Friday afternoon in the death of Payton Lockwood.

In July, Walker stabbed Lockwood, 19, in the upper torso during an argument.

Lockwood died at the hospital a short time later.

Walker was originally charged with murder, but the prosecution reduced the charge to manslaughter saying it was more appropriate.

The jury recommended a 17 year sentence.

Formal sentencing is set for June 14.



 
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