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Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Stabbing Death of Roommate

09-Jun-2017

A 72-year-old man is ordered to spend four years in prison after stabbing a man over an argument about a television. 

On November 6, 2015, Gary Lee Clodfelter was watching television in the Oklahoma City home he shared with Darryl Eugene Hillard, 56, as part of a veterans' housing program.

Clodfelter was having trouble hearing the television over Hillard's phone conversation, and an argument broke out. Eventually, that altercation erupted in violence, and Clodfelter, a former Marine, stabbed Hillard multiple times, resulting in injuries to the knee, abdomen, forearm and hand. 

Hillard was hospitalized and Clodfelter was charged with assault with a dangerous weapon.

However, things quickly became much more serious. The injury to the hand nicked an artery, requiring surgery. After surgery, Hillard was placed on a ventilator, and he died on November 24, two and a half weeks after sustaining the injury.

The charge against Clodfelter was upgraded to first degree murder.

At trial, the defendant's attorney argued that his client acted in self-defense, saying that Hillard was a schizophrenic who "went off" after Clodfelter challenged him over the volume of his phone conversation. He asserted that the use of a knife was not an overreaction to an argument about hearing a television, but rather self-defense after Hillard became agitated and started punching him.

On Wednesday, jurors found Clodfelter not guilty of first degree murder, but they did find him guilty of first degree manslaughter, a crime punishable by four years to life in prison. The jury recommended the minimum sentence of four years. 

Formal sentencing will be held on July 12. Reports say Oklahoma County District Judge Michele McElwee is likely to give the convicted man credit for time served. He has been in the Oklahoma County Jail since November 2015.

 



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