A man was found not guilty of first-degree murder Thursday in connection with a fatal shooting at the Somerset Park at Union apartments in 2017.
A jury acquitted Devonte Spivey, 24, on the murder count but convicted him on several drug charges and fined him up to $2,000.
Mike Manning, one of Spivey’s lawyers, said Tulsa police detectives used interrogation techniques to extract a false confession.
“This was a situation that is common in America where you have police departments using tactics … in order to get admissions and confessions from innocent people, and I think the jury — all the credit to the jury — they saw right through it,” Manning said.
“In this case, we had multiple lies told to this guy to get him to say the things he said, and that’s what was used to try and prosecute him for a murder he did not commit.”
Spivey was accused of fatally shooting Elijah John Winston, 22, on Sept. 26, 2017, at the Somerset Park at Union apartments, located near 65th Street and Mingo Road.
Emergency responders took Winston to a hospital, where he died. Spivey was at the scene when they arrived.
Manning said Winston’s fatal gunshot wound was self-inflicted.
“The evidence shows that Mr. Spivey spent a lot of time trying to save him (Winston),” Manning said. “He was the one that called 911; he was the one that did CPR compressions; he tried to get him out of the apartment into a car to get him to a hospital himself.”
Spivey, who was jailed for nearly two years, said after his trial concluded Thursday that he is going to reconnect with his family, who embraced him as he left the courtroom. He expressed gratitude for his family.
“I thank the jury, too, for having a good heart and a good conscience,” Spivey said.
Tulsa Police Sgt. Jennifer Murphy talks about the Tulsa Police new reading program and school supply handout at the Darlington Apartments.