Jurors on Thursday night convicted three inmates and acquitted one in the death of a fellow inmate.
All four had been accused of beating and stomping Maurice “Little Smoke” Pendleton on July 18, 2017, inside the Oklahoma County jail. Prosecutors alleged the attack was gang-related.
After more than three hours of deliberating, jurors found the three inmates guilty of second-degree murder. Jurors will deliberate punishment Friday.
Convicted were Todd Alan Miller, 32; Antonio Dewayne Ligons, 36; and Martaveous Dwayne Gillioms, 21.
Acquitted was Hareth Hameed, 19.
All four denied involvement in the death and disputed gang affiliation.
The assault took place just before noon on the jail’s eighth-floor basketball court, according to investigators.
Pendleton had just been arraigned by video on an assault charge. The four inmates had been awaiting disciplinary hearings for getting into trouble while at the jail.
A key witness, Raymundo Rubio, another inmate, also was in the basketball court for a disciplinary hearing. Rubio, 22, testified that Ligons threw the first punch after faking a handshake with Pendleton, and then the others jumped him.
Rubio said Miller, Ligons and Gillioms struck Pendleton “a lot of times.” Pendleton then ran around the court, attempting to escape the attack, Rubio testified.
The three inmates also tried to strip Pendleton, he said. Rubio testified Hameed just stood there during the attack, which lasted about 90 seconds.
“What happened on the ball court killed Maurice Pendleton,” Assistant District Attorney Jessica Foster said during closing arguments. “He was killed for no reason.”