Gang Member Sentenced to Death after Second Murder Conviction

An Oklahoma County jury sentenced an Enid gang member to death after his second murder conviction in only 8 months. 

Prosecutors told the jury that Ronnie Eugene Fuston, 24, was a 107 Hoover Crip gang member who was looking to gain credibility as a "hit man." They say that on October 20, 2012, he drove from Enid to Oklahoma City to help some female gang members who were in a dispute with another woman. 

They went to confront the woman at the home of her uncle, Michael Donnell Rhodes, 58. They kicked in the door of Rhodes's home and fired five shots into the home, striking the man three times as he lay on a couch with his 3-year-old daughter. Miraculously, the child was unharmed. Rhodes, however, was fatally injured.

Defense attorneys argued that Fuston was not at the scene, and that there was no evidence he pulled the trigger. However, prosecutors say they linked Fuston to the murder through cell phone evidence and ballistic evidence, and they argued that he bragged about the murder.

Jurors also heard that a Garfield County jury convicted Fuston of first-degree murder in a home-invasion shooting that occurred about two months after the one in Oklahoma City. In that case, the jury recommended a sentence of life without parole.

Prosecutors told a jury that Fuston is a continuing threat, with multiple other criminal charges in addition to the two murders in two months. They say he is guilty of several drive by shootings and robberies, and at least 5 assaults since he has been incarcerated.

On Thursday, the jury found Fuston guilty of first degree murder and recommended a death sentence. Formal sentencing is scheduled to take place on July 24, 2017.