Jury finds Creek County man not guilty in murder trial

By Micah Choquette

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Kenneth Ray Smith was found not guilty by a jury of his peers on Monday, October 25th at the conclusion of a trial that lasted less than a week, despite the seriousness of the allegations.

Smith was accused of killing his step-daughter’s boyfriend, Tyris Boyd, during Labor Day of 2020. Smith testified that the shooting was in self-defense following a number of tense interactions with Boyd that day.

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NonDoc reported that despite feeling like he had no other option, Smith regretted shooting Boyd that day. “I didn’t want to take a man’s life. Nobody should ever have to go through that,” Smith told the jury during his testimony on the Friday before being found not guilty.

Smith’s attorney, Ben Fu, called into doubt the testimony of Boyd’s mother, who claimed Smith shot her son a second time in a manner that would not have constituted self-defense.

As reported by NonDoc, Theresa Williams gave one statement during an earlier hearing in August about whether or not the case could be seen as a “stand your ground” defense. In that hearing, Williams testified that she watched Smith walk around the car and shoot Boyd a second time in a manner that Creek County Assistant District Attorney Steve Rouse claimed constituted first-degree murder, rather than self-defense. However, during cross-examination, Fu asked Williams if she really saw the second round of shots, and she replied, “I’m not going to say yes, but I’m not going to say no.”

Fu told jurors that her testimony could not be trusted, and apparently, the jurors agreed. The verdict was handed in after just 20 minutes of deliberation. One juror spoke with Sapulpa Times and called it an “open and shut case.”

“Charges should have never been filed for murder-one or anything,” they said. “It was clear that it was self-defense.”

Fu reportedly said he was grateful that the jury took the time to hear all the available testimony before coming to a decision. “We’re very thankful for the jury taking their time and giving this case the consideration it deserves. We’re so thankful they got it right.”