• Dennis McCaslin

Death row inmates loses appeal in 2012 murder case of Pocola woman

According to information from the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, a request for a new hearing by a death row inmate convicted in the 2012 burning death of a Pocola woman he had dated has been rejected.

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals turned down the request by Donnie Harris Jr. for post-conviction release on Thursday saying that evidence that had been lost or misplaced in the eight year-old case would have made no difference in the outcome of the trial because of the strength of other evidence.

Harris is on death row for murder of 25-year-old Kristi Ferguson of Pocola. He had also lost an earlier appeal because of testimony of his threats to kill Ferguson and her dying declaration on the way to the hospital that Harris “threw kerosene on me and set me on fire.”

According to published reports during the time of the original trial. the jury deliberated less than two-and-a-half -hours before returning the verdict in the February 18, 2012, kiling. . Ferguson suffered fatal burns, most of them third-degree, over 42.5 percent of her body.

Ferguson died 19 days later of complications from her injuries.

The jury recommended death by lethal injection.

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