Family Of Murder Victim Meets With Oklahoma County DA About New Trial

Monday, April 16th 2012, 7:40 pm
By: News 9

A murder victim's family is coping with more grief after two prosecutors assigned to the case are fired for mishandling evidence.

4/13/2012 Related Story: Family Of Murder Victim Wants Meeting With Oklahoma County DA After Firings

A retrial looms for the victim's mother. The family met with the Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater on Monday.

The mom says she found out about the possibility of a new trial while watching the news. But after meeting with the DA, she's now confident again her son's murderer will be brought to justice.

"We can't give up on Manuel. We have to get justice for Manuel," Estherlene Harjochee said.

For nearly two years, Estherlene Harjochee has been waiting for closure. But the mom believes an end to her grief is far from over.

Billy Thompson, the man recently convicted of murdering her son Manuel Sanchez, will get a new trial.

District attorney David Prater fired two prosecutors on the case for alleged ethics violations. Harjochee says the mistake will force her to re-live her sons deaths a second time.

"Having to be in the same room with the defendant and hold back your anger the emotions," Harjochee said.

Harjochee says her initial anger turned to optimism, after she met with her attorney and the District Attorney.

"He explained the day after the verdict they were made aware of something. He explains in great detail there was an internal investigation and what they found," Harjochee said.

Harjochee's attorney David Slane says the DA assured the family seasoned prosecutors will be on this case for a retrial. And Slane believes the evidence previously omitted in court should not keep prosecutors from getting a second guilty verdict

"You know I am putting my trust in him," Harjochee said.

The mother's attorney says both the mom and the DA apologized to one another for the handling of information, and both are looking forward to new prosecutors getting assigned to the case on May 4.