The woman who shot and killed her ex-boyfriend in the hallway of a Bricktown hotel two years ago was found guilty by an Oklahoma County jury of first-degree murder last week.
The jury recommended that Tyesha Long, 23, be given a 27-year sentence for killing Ray Brown, 55, the owner of the ICE Events Center.
The jury deliberated nearly five hours before announcing its verdict.
During the trial, neither prosecutors nor her defense attorney disputed that Miss Long, who had been in an on-again, off-again relationship with Mr. Brown, pulled a 9 mm pistol from her waistband and shot him on the eighth floor of his hotel.
However, prosecutors disputed Miss Long’s truthfulness about what happened and why.
Miss Long told investigators she shot Mr. Brown in the chest as he confronted her in an elevator lobby, protecting herself as the man threatened to kill her and reached to grab her by her throat.
Long testified she took Brown’s threat seriously because he had, up until that point, “done everything he had said he was going to do.”
But authorities testified Mr. Brown’s body was found in a hallway around the corner, more than 20 feet away from the elevator lobby.
They also testified Mr. Brown, found face down pointed in the direction of his room and holding a keycard in his hand, had been shot in the back by someone standing at least 3 feet away.
Prosecutors also questioned whether Miss Long truly had reason to be scared of Mr. Brown, given she had visited him numerous times the week before the shooting.
Miss Long had obtained a victim’s protective order against Mr. Brown in Oklahoma County more than a year before the shooting, according to police records.
She obtained the VPO after she told police they had argued and he had punched her.
No criminal charges were filed against Mr. Brown related to that incident.
“I took it seriously,” Miss Long said of the VPO.
“We were trying to work out some issues, that’s all. He didn’t always put his hands on me.”
And the defendant, who testified in her own defense, struggled at times to answer questions posed by Assistant District Attorney Madeline Coffee about her relationship with Mr. Brown and discrepancies between her story and what investigators had found at the scene.
Joi E. Miskel, Miss Long’s attorney, argued in her closing argument that her client was afraid, acted in self-defense and still had problems remembering what happened because the confrontation left her in shock.
“If she murdered this man, why would she call 911, stay on the scene, consent to an interview, to give a DNA sample, to allow access to her phone and to tell investigators to check the hotel’s cameras six different times?” the defense attorney asked.
In addition, the defense attorney argued that police, after they discovered the hotel had no cameras covering that floor, could have used cutting-edge technology to reconstruct what happened, plus brought in detectives who were domestic abuse experts to clear up conflicts between the evidence and Miss Long’s story, but did none of them.
“The system has failed Tyesha Long before,” the defense attorney remarked. “Don’t let the system fail her now.
“Do the right thing.”
Assistant District Attorney Coffee told jurors that prosecutors proved their case, that Miss Long had murdered Mr. Brown and categorized the defense attorney’s criticisms of the investigation as distractions.
“You don’t shoot someone in the middle of the back unless you mean to kill them,” the prosecutor said.
“In that moment, she) acted as the judge jury and executioner of Ray Brown.”
Oklahoma County District Judge Susan Stallings will formally sentence Miss Long next month.