Man Sentenced to 535 Years Granted Re-Trial

Monday, January 12th 2009, 8:20 pm
By: News 9

By Alex Cameron, NEWS 9

MIDWEST CITY, Oklahoma -- A former Midwest City athlete is on trial after being accused and admitting to a series of brutal sexual assaults.

In 2006, Rayshun Mullins pleaded guilty to dozens of felony counts, including six counts of first-degree rape, and sentenced to more than 500 years behind bars.

The conviction was later overturned and the sentence thrown out by the Court of Criminal Appeals based on the 85 percent rule, which states with certain heinous crimes, a person convicted will serve at least 85 percent of a sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

Mullins faced 30 counts in connection to the string of sexual assaults, but rather than go to trial, Mullins entered a blind plea. Mullins was ultimately sentenced to 535 years by judge Twyla Mason Gray.

"He's been found guilty, but the court has set aside that," NEWS 9 Legal Analyst Irven Box said. "It starts back from day one."

Box said the jurors who will hear the case won't be told about Mullins guilty plea because Mullins wasn't specifically told, prior to entering his plea, that rape is an 85 percent crime, either by Judge Gray or by his attorney at the time, Mike Gassaway.

"Attorneys should inform their clients it's an 85 percent crime. That's the first obligation," Box said. "I think the obligation is on the attorney to do it, more so than even the judge to do it."

There was no rule requiring judges or attorneys inform a defendant of the 85-percent rule when Mullins made his plea, but recent case law has changed, resulting in appeals and reversals of many cases.

"A lot of defendants are taking their chances with jurors," Box said. "Thinking they may get less, and if it's an 85 percent on a very severe crime anyway, which they are with 85 percent, they'd rather take a chance with a jury."

Jury selection began Monday for Mullins' trial.

At the time of Mullins' original sentencing, Judge Gray was quoted as saying Mullins seemed probably the closest thing to a sociopath she'd ever seen, and that the punishment was appropriate for his victims and for the community.