Oklahoma Man's Conviction, Death Sentence Reversed - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Oklahoma Man's Conviction, Death Sentence Reversed

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Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A federal appeals court has reversed the murder conviction and death sentence of a man who was found guilty of killing a black Texas teenager during a racial confrontation in Durant.

A 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel agreed Wednesday with Ernest Eugene Phillips that the trial court judge should've allowed the jury to consider a lesser offense of second-degree depraved mind murder at his trial.

A Bryan County jury convicted Phillips of the 1996 fatal stabbing of 17-year-old Roderick Jason McFail of Pilot Point, Texas.

Police said Phillips, who is white, made racial remarks to McFail, stabbed him in the chest then chased two other teens before going into a convenience store and arguing with the clerk.

Attorney General spokesman Charlie Price says prosecutors are considering whether to seek a rehearing before the full court.

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