Teen to spend most of his life behind bars in murder of young father

An Oklahoma teenager was sentenced to up to life in prison Tuesday morning after a jury convicted him of first degree murder and other charges earlier this month in the shooting death of a Tulsa father last year.

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Convicted killer Emmitt Sam, is now 18, but he was 17 at the time of the June 2016 carjacking that left 27-year-old Jonathan Stephens dead.

A jury convicted Sam of robbing a Broken Arrow couple, stealing their car and carjacking another couple in east Tulsa before killing Stephens near his front door.

His alleged, Nathan Simmons, will go on trial in January.

Following Sam’s conviction, the jury held another hearing in order to recommend life in prison for the teen. Because he was a minor at the time of the crime, the recommendation required an additional hearing.

At a formal sentencing hearing Tuesday morning, the judge upheld the jury’s recommendation: a 45 to life prison sentence for the murder charge, plus 17 years for each robbery conviction.

A total of 62 years in prison with an 85 percent mandatory serving time means Sam will be at least 70 before he can request parole.

Stephens’ mother, who planned to be in court for all testimony, wants to keep her son’s memory alive. She said Stephens was a great father to his young daughter, a loving son and a person with a smile always on his face.

Explore>> Related: Judge gives life sentence for teen who killed Tulsa father

Stephens' family is working to pay for a final resting place for him in a special plot near his family.

Those who would like to help can visit their GoFundMe page.

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