Sand Springs man gets life for murder of ex-girlfriend
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Friday, November 30, 2012
12/28/12 at 3:46 AM
A Sand Springs man received a no-parole life prison sentence Friday for a domestic homicide in Tulsa.
A Tulsa County jury found James E. Darton, 25, guilty of first-degree murder in the killing of Kimberly Ragland, 29, who was found dead in her car in May 2011.
Prosecutors Erik Grayless and Amanda Self maintained that Darton shot Ragland four times with a hand gun at close range.
The only other punishment option was life with parole possible.
In addition to life without parole for murder, Darton incurred sentences of 20 and 10 years, respectively, after being found guilty of possessing a firearm as a felon and of the domestic assault and battery of Ragland at a Tulsa apartment prior to the shooting. The jury also fined him $17,500.
Ragland’s body was found in the passenger seat of her car by police who were called to the 5300 block of South Wheeling Avenue around 12:05 a.m. May 9, 2011, by Heller Park-area residents who heard gunshots.
No gun was found in the vehicle.
Police were told that Darton and Ragland had been involved in a “heated” and “physical” disturbance shortly before her body was found, according to an arrest report.
Defense attorney Brian Rayl asserted that there was no physical evidence to implicate Darton.
In an application for a protective order in May 2011, Ragland indicated that she and the defendant previously were in a dating relationship.
Darton did not testify at his trial in District Judge William Kellough’s court.
He has been in the Tulsa Jail for more than 18 months, records show.
Darton has prior felony convictions for attempted larceny and a drug offense, records show.
James E. Darton