A jury found Ronald McMullen Jr. guilty of murdering his daughter following a seven-day trial.
The jury deliberated for three and a half hours Wednesday over the first-degree murder charge before returning to court with the guilty verdict. The jury recommended a sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole. The formal sentencing hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m. Dec. 4.
McMullen, 43, was charged with killing 22-year-old Kailee McMullen by shooting her in the face on June 29, 2017, at his home on 1709 Abe Martin Drive in Norman. McMullen and his daughter were the only ones in the house at the time of her death. Karen McMullen, Ronald's wife and Kailee's mother, was working a night shift as a nurse at the time of Kailee's death.
Testimony in the trial began Sept. 24 and the verdict was read Wednesday.
Kailee McMullen went on a date with Nick Heflin the evening before she was killed. She arrived at her father's house after the date around 1 a.m. Ronald McMullen claimed that they watched TV and consumed heavy amounts of alcohol, according to testimony.
The young woman was living at her grandparents house, located directly behind her father's house, at the time of her death.
Prosecutors estimate Ronald McMullen shot Kailee in the face with a revolver sometime between 5:15 and 5:30 a.m. Telephone records show Ronald made several calls to his wife between 5:34 and 5:40 a.m. before calling police at 5:42 a.m.
Assistant district attorneys Jennifer Austin and Jacobi Whatley in closing arguments Wednesday pointed to Ronald McMullen's failure to call police in a timely manner as one of several pieces of circumstantial evidence linking him to his daughter's death.
"The jury obviously reviewed the evidence and obviously didn't believe that [Kailee] killed herself, by accident or intentionally," Austin said after the jury announced a verdict. "I think the verdict is absolutely appropriate. I think life without parole is justice for Kailee McMullen."
Defense attorney Michael Johnson argued during his closing statement that the most probable scenario was that Kailee accidentally shot herself.
"We disagree but ultimately accept the jury's decision in this case," Johnson said after the verdict was read.
Everett Baxter, Oklahoma City police officer, used virtual reality 3-D technology during Tuesday's proceedings to create a reenactment of the night Kailee was shot. He concluded that Kailee likely shot herself. This is the only known case of virtual reality used during a murder trial in Oklahoma.
Austin argued that Tom Bevel, former law enforcement officer who performed a stippling test for the prosecution, provided enough evidence that was more substantial than the use of the virtual reality reenactment. A stippling test includes firing a weapon into an object at different distances to determine the stippling patterns found when the gun is fired.
"We don't think [Baxter's] testimony was compelling," Austin said. "I think it was more confusing, and I don't think he was ever going to be able to dispute or discredit Tom Bevel."
Much of the State's argument centered around the deteriorating relationship between Kailee and her father in the months leading up to her death. The State pointed to texts between them that showed her confronting her father about an incident where he touched her inappropriately less than three months before her death.
Text messages also showed Ronald threatening to drive and bring Kailee home while she was on her date.
"There were some dynamics in their relationship that were disturbing," Austin said. "This was years and years of a relationship that was very difficult and very controlling. You can tell in the text messages that it was almost like a controlling boyfriend-girlfriend relationship."