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10:24 am
Fri February 26, 2010

Conviction Reversed

Tulsa, OK – Court overturns man's convictions in killings

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has overturned the murder convictions of a man found guilty of killing a Tulsa couple.

In a ruling released Thursday, the judges ordered a new trial, concluding that the exclusion of testimony from a witness violated Phillip Summers' right to a fair trial.

A Tulsa County jury convicted Summers in 2008 of first-degree murder and recommended death for the fatal shootings of Ples and Shelly Vann.

Prosecutors alleged that the couple was killed Feb. 23, 2004, because Hoover Crips gang members believed the Vanns' son, Lawrence Tennyson, was responsible for the death of one of Summers' brothers.

Summers' attorney, James L. Hankins, couldn't be reached for comment. District Attorney Tim Harris' office didn't return a call seeking comment.