The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has rejected the request of a convicted killer to withdraw his plea of no contest to second-degree murder.
The court on Thursday rejected motions by 28-year-old Raymond Jay Stewart that he was coerced into pleading no contest, the victim impact evidence was improper, he received ineffective counsel and that his sentence of life with the possibility of parole is excessive.
Stewart pleaded no contest in 2015 as part of a plea deal. He was originally charged with first-degree murder in the 2014 beating death of 32-year-old Steven Lee Sessums in Bryan County.
In October 2014 Stewart escaped the Bryan County Jail and was later caught in Hot Springs, Arkansas. He also pleaded no contest to escape and assault and battery on a corrections officer.
10/20/14 Related Story: Authorities: Murder Suspect Escapes Bryan County Jail