Tulsa man gets no-parole life sentences in 2012 shooting death of woman, unborn child

A Tulsa man was sentenced to two consecutive life-without-parole terms Friday after a jury found him guilty last month of killing a 19-year-old woman and their unborn child.

Kenneth Hopkins, 28, was convicted Jan. 18 in the shooting of Marshay Wesson, who was about eight months pregnant with a boy who would have been her second child with Hopkins.

Police found Wesson’s body about 8 a.m. June 4, 2012, in the driver’s seat of a maroon Chevrolet Impala parked in the 1800 block of East 28th Street North.

District Judge William LaFortune upheld the jury’s sentencing recommendations after hearing victim impact statements from Wesson’s family, and ordered that Hopkins pay fines of $10,000 for each count.

Trial testimony indicated Wesson had at least seven gunshot wounds, including three in her abdomen.

Hopkins was charged in the deaths last February while in federal custody on an unrelated case connected to his activity on behalf of the Hoover Crips street gang.

Assistant District Attorneys Kenneth Elmore and Ben Fu said Hopkins wanted Wesson dead because he did not want to have another child with her, as Wesson opted not to terminate the pregnancy despite repeated requests from him. In the months before Wesson’s death, Hopkins’ wages were subject to garnishment for child support payments for Wesson’s daughter, which the prosecutors claimed upset him.

Hopkins has two other children with another woman, who Fu and Elmore said had not gone to court to seek child support payments from him.

The prosecutors said Wesson’s shooting amounted to “an assassination” by someone who betrayed her trust.

Defense attorney Stephen Lee argued during the trial that the other woman, Ashley Wilson, was more involved with the incident than she claimed. He emphasized that police did not find the gun used in the shooting for more than three years until they carried out a search warrant and recovered it from a car driven by one of Wilson’s relatives.