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Court Overturns Oklahoma Killer's Death Sentences

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Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A federal appeals court has overturned the death penalty of a man convicted of killing five people in Oklahoma City.

Fifty-one-year-old Danny Keith Hooks was convicted in 1998 and given five death sentences for the 1992 stabbing deaths of Sandra Thompson, Phyllis Adams, LaShawn Evans, Carolyn Watson and Fransill Roberts.

A three-judge panel of 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver voted 2-1 Tuesday to overturn the death sentences. The judges ruled the jury was coerced into returning death sentences because of mistatements by prosecutors Robert Macy and Brad Miller and the judge's instruction that they continue deliberating even after reporting being deadlocked.

Assistant Attorney General Robert Whittaker says the state is likely to challenge the ruling.

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