Oklahoma appeals court upholds separate murder convictions

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the separate first-degree murder convictions and life with parole sentences of two men.

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The court on Thursday rejected appeals by 28-year-old Adrian Escajeda of Oklahoma City and 30-year-old Traevon Harbert of Warr Acres.

Escajeda was convicted in the December 2016 suffocation and strangulation death of Ulises Lopez. Escajeda said he intended only to "beat up" Lopez because he suspected Lopez of sexually abusing his girlfriend's 6-year-old daughter.

Harbert was convicted of the fatal March 2016 shooting of Demario Davis in what prosecutors say was retaliation for the earlier slaying of a friend of Harbert's. Harbert argued witnesses didn't identify him as one of two men seen on surveillance video shooting Davis, but the court found the witnesses did not provide positive identifications.