The mother, aunt and step-grandmother of murder victim Manuel Leon Sanchez say they were blindsided when they heard about the firings of the two Oklahoma County assistant district attorneys who handled the case against Sanchez's accused killer. The three went to the D.A.'s office early Friday morning to request an interview with the district attorney.
Sanchez's family says they learned about the firings on the news, but should have been informed by the Oklahoma County D.A.'s office.
"They should have called us and told us about the investigation," Tilda Scott Harjo, Sanchez's step-grandmother, said.
Billy Michael Thompson is suspected of stabbing Sanchez and another man in August 2010. Thompson claimed Sanchez and the other man attacked him, and he defended himself with a knife. Witnesses told the district attorney he actually chased the victims down the street then stabbed them. Sanchez died but the other victim survived.
Thompson was convicted of murder March 15 and sentenced to life in prison. But now, he is expected to get a new trial following the firings of assistant district attorneys Stephanie Miller and Pam Kimbrough for alleged ethics violations.
Miller and Kimbrough are accused of not telling Thompson's attorneys that a witness had allegedly changed his story.
Assistant D.A. Scott Rowland says he did talk with Sanchez's mother about the firings, and does not understand why the family is upset. He would not comment further on the case. He would not meet with the family, saying they needed to set an appointment.