Teen killer's sentencing delayed
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
12/21/10 at 6:59 AM
Read Jeanne Finnegan’s
victim impact statement.
Sentencing was postponed Monday for a teenager in the murder of an 18-year-old Tulsan whose mother spoke in court about the "traumatic and permanent impact" that resulted from her daughter's death.
A judge rescheduled formal sentencing of Theo Fleming for Jan. 27 after defense lawyer Thomas Mortensen requested that a background report be prepared before sentencing.
Assistant District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said Fleming is entitled by statute to that report, which will be prepared by the Department of Corrections.
Tulsa County jurors on Dec. 3 found Fleming, now 18, guilty of second-degree murder and imposed a 30-year prison term and a $10,000 fine in connection with the April 4, 2009, shooting death of Kaitlyn Finnegan at a house in the 5800 block of South 94th East Place.
Finnegan, who was a senior at Bishop Kelley High School, was shot once in the chest.
In court Monday, Jeanne Finnegan read a statement on the impact of her daughter's death on family members and friends.
"Just as that bullet ripped through her heart, it ripped our hearts into pieces, never to be whole again," she said.
''Mr. Fleming's act of violence has changed our lives forever," Finnegan said.
''I don't believe there will ever be closure, maybe some easing of the pain we carry every minute of every day, but no closure."
She described her daughter as "a helper, a doer for others. Kaitlyn thought of others before herself."
Finnegan said her daughter had said she "had met a man named Theo," but other family members had "never met Mr. Fleming until the day he came to our house to say Kait-lyn had been shot."
Finnegan cried at times as she read her statement while seated at the witness stand.
Her husband, Jim Finnegan, held a picture of their daughter that was visible to courtroom observers.
Fleming was a Jenks High School student who turned 17 about a week before the killing.
He has been in the Tulsa Jail since April 2009 and did not testify at his trial.
A prosecutor maintained that Fleming shot Finnegan with a .22-caliber pistol that he had bought in "anticipation of retaliation" for being beaten up by another teenager.
Fleming told police that he and two other people took Finnegan to a hospital after she was shot in a drive-by shooting while walking a dog. When officers found no evidence of a shooting at the location he showed them, Fleming said he accidentally shot her at the house.
Bill Braun 581-8455
SENTENCING SET JAN. 27
Theo Fleming: Jurors found him guilty of second-degree murder and imposed a 30-year prison term in the 2009 shooting death of Kaitlyn Finnegan, a Bishop Kelley High School senior who was shot once in the chest. Fleming, now 18, first told police that Finnegan was the victim of a drive-by shooting but later said he shot her accidentally.