NORMAN, Okla. — A man charged with first-degree murder is set for a hearing at 9 a.m. Wednesday in Cleveland County District Court in front of Judge Jeff Virgin.
In conjunction with three other men, James Arion Smith, 19, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Nathaniel Ewing, 20. Ewing was shot and killed on April 23, 2017, in the Willowbrook Apartment complex parking lot, 1852 E. Lindsey St.
Smith is being held on $3 million bond.
In December, Smith was found competent to stand trial. He entered a plea of no contest in April, but the motion was officially withdrawn July 31.
According to a Norman police affidavit, Ewing and a person later identified as Ian Roper agreed to meet one of the suspects at the apartment complex about selling marijuana. At some point, the meeting turned into a robbery, resulting in Ewing being shot in the abdomen.
According to court records, two of the suspects, Cody Eli Turbeville, 18, and Armani Ashanti Morgan, 21, made plea agreements. Turbeville pleaded guilty to accessory to first-degree murder and Morgan pleaded guilty to planning a violent act and firearm possession. Both were sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Tyrek Ladarius Turner, 22, appeared before Judge Jeff Virgin for a pre-trial conference March 1.
Turner is also charged in three other separate cases, facing charges including possessing a stolen vehicle, second-degree burglary and receiving or concealing stolen property.
In other court news this week:
• A former Norman Veterans Center employee who was sentenced in March 2018 to seven years in prison for killing a retired Moore police officer in a wreck is scheduled for a judicial review of her sentencing at 10 a.m. Thursday in front of Judge Lori Walkley.
Kristen Noel Eastham, 35, of Del City, made a blind plea to killing Arthur "Art" DiVecchio in 2015. Walkley accepted her plea and sentenced her, with a chance for a future sentence modification.
According to an Oklahoma City Police affidavit, Eastham and DiVecchio were involved in a fatal car wreck early Aug. 8, 2015.
Eastham was driving home from the Norman Veterans Center at about 4 a.m. when her vehicle crashed into Arthur's vehicle on Sooner Road at SE 104 in Oklahoma City. Arthur was pronounced dead at the scene.
During an interview with an Oklahoma City police officer at the OU Medical Center, Eastham admitted to being under the influence of narcotics for right knee pain at the time of the crash.
Oklahoma court records reveal Eastham was charged about a week later with first-degree manslaughter and driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs.
• A disposition is set for 2 p.m. Wednesday in Judge Thad Balkman's courtroom for a woman charged in a 2017 Moore fatal hit and run.
Tessa Celeste Morgan, 38, faces a charge of first-degree manslaughter following a collision that resulted in the death of Charles Shatswell, 50. She also is charged with a felony count of leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in injury or death.
The defense and prosecution requested the new date during a plea and sentencing hearing last week in order to inform the victim's family and give them the chance to attend and/or comment in court in accordance with Marsy's Law.
According to a Moore police affidavit, the Oklahoma City woman allegedly hit and killed Shatswell while he was riding a tricycle on SW 19th Street in Moore just after midnight, then left the scene. She turned herself into police that day at about 7 p.m.
Oklahoma court records show that Morgan has a previous criminal record including multiple drug-related convictions.
• Two of four people charged with child neglect are scheduled to appear in court for preliminary hearing conferences.
Lynn Henriett Iser, 41, and Tandi Danele Moore, 34, are set to appear at 9 a.m. Tuesday before Judge Scott Brockman.
Iser was granted a personal recognizance bond April 5 on the $10,000 bond that was posted.
Moore is being held on $5,000 bond. Her request for a personal recognizance bond was denied.
The Cleveland County Sheriff's Office arrested four people on charges related to child neglect shortly after midnight April 4.
Iser, Moore, Donna Moore and Winchester Moore were taken into custody without incident. An investigation into the alleged child neglect started a week prior to the arrests.
Sheriff Todd Gibson said investigators took over the case after two children were removed from unsafe and unsanitary conditions at their rural Noble home on Oak Ridge Road in the area of 120th Avenue and Etowah Road. The children have been safely placed with a family.