Mukwonago, WI asked in Criminal Law for Oklahoma

Q: For a novel in Oklahoma: Character sees evidence of murder on an in-law (bloody clothes) and does not report. Accessory?

If the character is certain that an in-law is the murderer, but does not say anything, and benefits from this relation afterwards, does this failure to tell the police constitute an accessory to murder? If this character decides to tell the truth 10 years later, will the DA cut a deal so the character does not go to prison? Thanks!!

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1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Watts
Charles Watts
  • Licensed in Oklahoma

A: By definition in Oklahoma 21 OS § 172, with Felonies, there are Principals (anyone who furthered the Felony act prior to or during the act itself -- aid and abet in the commission-even if not present), and Accessory After the Fact (anyone who helps conceal the already committed act). A good comparison would be:

Scenario 1 -- J. Smith buys a shovel because J. Doe said he was "going" to kill J. Blow and "will need" shovel to dispose of the body. He bought the shovel in advance and thus aided in the crime prior to the crime -- J. Smith and J. Doe are both Principals.

Scenario 2 -- J. Doe 'killed' J. Blow and told J. Smith. As a result, J. Smith buys and gives a shovel to J. Doe to dispose of the body. J. Doe=Principal, J. Smith Accessory after the fact.

As far as cutting a deal later, there is no good answer for that, some DA's might some DA's definitely would not. Let you book decide how this is resolved. Our statute regarding Accessory to Felony Punishment is 21 O.S. § 175.

Look forward to hearing about the book.

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