Drug Deal Turns Deadly: DA Speaks Out

Monday, December 4th 2017, 11:24 pm
By: Bonnie Campo

In April, 20-year-old Nathaniel Ewing, an OU Student, was robbed, shot and killed after selling strangers marijuana.

Four suspects, 20-year-old Tyrek Ladarius Turner, 19-year-old Armani Ashanti Morgan and two 17-year-old, have been charged in connection to the murder.

Tomorrow his allegedly killers will be in court. District Attorney Greg Mashburn says “a little bit of weed” tends to lead to larger, more violent crimes. 

"Over the past 18 months we have had 6 murder cases that we filed that had to do with a little bit of drugs," said Mashburn. 

He says Ewing’s family we be in court tomorrow, and he’s shared this heartbreak with many who’ve gone through the court system. However, the ACLU says if drugs were legal, this young man might still be alive. 

"Marijuana crimes and drug crimes in general have only made Oklahomans less safe. As we continue to prosecute the failed war on drugs, we should not be surprised when we see unnecessary casualties like this young man," said Executive Director of Oklahoma ACLU Ryan Kiesel.

Kiesel says if store sold products legally there would be less incentive for criminals. Mashburn says as long as there is a demand criminals will continue to steal drugs to get him.

"Unless it's free, they are handing it out like candy on the street corner they are still going to have to get theeir hands on it somehow," said Mashburn. 

Kiesel responds by saying law enforcement standards are out of date and have historically failed. 

"Until we start to treat marijuana in a sensable fashion, regulate it, tax, and move it away from the criminal elements, we are going to increase danger to our public safety." 

As for Ewing's case, the District Attorney's office says they are discussing two plea deals with some of those involved.