- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2016

PAWHUSKA, Okla. (AP) - A suburban Tulsa man has pleaded guilty to the fatal stabbing of his 16-year-old sister and avoided the death penalty.

Michael Devin Stanley, 22, of Skiatook, was sentenced Thursday to life in prison without parole in the death of Larisa Fraley in a deal with prosecutors, the Tulsa World (https://bit.ly/2g65lE3 ) reported. If he was sentenced to capital punishment, Stanley would have been the youngest person on the state’s death row.

“While we felt the (intent to seek the death penalty) was important to file and put on the table, given the age of the defendant, who was 19 at the time of the homicide, life without the possibility of parole is an extremely harsh sentence and arguably, to some, even harsher than what the death penalty could have conveyed,” Osage County Assistant District Attorney Kyle Alderson said.

Fraley’s body was found in an abandoned van in Osage County on Jan. 27, 2014. Stanley is charged in Tulsa County with killing his great-grandmother, Esther Driskell, in the Skiatook home she shared with him and Fraley. Osage County prosecutors alleged he killed his sister to cover up what he had done to Driskell.

The case against Stanley was stalled after he was sent for treatment at the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita in May 2015 due to the defense raising concerns about his competency. Stanley returned to the jail in May 2016, and the court found Stanley competent.

Amber Campbell, a relative of Stanley and Fraley, said the situation is “the hardest thing our family has had to endure” and she is worried for Stanley, despite his actions.

“Now all we have is the thought that Devin will sit in prison. … After the nearly three years of waiting, this is the end of the road there (for Fraley’s case),” she said. “It’s difficult to process that.”

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Information from: Tulsa World, https://www.tulsaworld.com

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