Judge issues life sentence to Tulsa teen after guilty plea in trucker's murder

By Greg Grisolano, Land Line staff writer | 8/7/2014

An 18-year-old Tulsa man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday for his role in the murder of a truck driver last year.

Jermaine Savory pleaded guilty to first-degree felony murder in the shooting death of 53-year-old trucker Robert Horton. Horton, of Arlington, Texas, was shot and killed at around 6 a.m. on March 23, 2013, as he and his driving partner were delivering food products to a Papa John’s pizza franchise at 2802 E. 11th St.

Tulsa County District Judge Tom Gillert sentenced Savory to life in prison with possibility of parole. However, Savory must serve 85 percent of his sentence, or 38 years in prison, before becoming eligible for parole, according to a report by The Tulsa World. According to the report, Savory, who is thought by prosecutors to have been the shooter, did not identify who fired the gun, but did acknowledge that he and his two co-defendants – Frankie “Bubba” Jackson and Damian Anderson – did attempt to rob Horton.

Savory was one of three teens bound over to stand trial in September 2013 on charges of first-degree felony murder and attempted armed robbery following a botched stickup that resulted in the death of Horton.

Horton was shot outside the business as he was unloading some of the freight, while his driving partner remained in the trailer. It was previously reported that Horton’s partner was inside the store when the shooting occurred.

The suspects are alleged to have waited outside in an SUV, which was parked behind a nearby wooden fence. At least two suspects got out and lost Horton temporarily when he went into the building. They drove off but came back when they saw Horton come outside.

At least two suspects got out of the vehicle and approached Horton while he was an estimated 30 feet from the trailer, on the other side of the building.

A stolen 9 mm handgun is believed to be the murder weapon. On Thursday, prosecutors filed a notice to introduce evidence that the suspects stole the murder weapon along with six other firearms, some electronics and $60 cash from a residence in the 9100 block of E. 3rd Place in Tulsa, on or around March 14 to March 15. According to the filing, police found five guns at Savory’s apartment after the murder, which matched the description of some of the weapons that were stolen in the burglary.

In addition to the murder plea, Savory also pleaded guilty to two separate charges: one count of sexual battery stemming from a Nov. 13 incident in the Tulsa Jail, and one count of assault and battery on a detention officer. The sentences for both those crimes will run concurrent with his murder sentence.

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