- Associated Press - Thursday, December 15, 2016

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the life prison sentence of a 26-year-old man convicted of first-degree murder in the death of a man who disappeared in 2011.

The court handed down the ruling Thursday in the case of Miguel Angel Chavira, who was found guilty by a Tulsa County jury in the shooting death of 24-year-old Joshua Counts.

Authorities say the victim’s sister reported that her brother was missing in October 2011. Volunteers discovered his remains in December 2011 along a highway near Inola, east of Tulsa.

Prosecutors alleged cellphone records showed text messages indicating Counts disappeared after setting up a meeting to sell Chavira a quarter-pound of marijuana.

Among other things, the appeals court rejected claims by Chavira that the search of his cellphone was unconstitutional.

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