By Jeanne Grimes
A 27-year-old Moore man will spend the rest of his life in prison after a McClain County District Court jury found him guilty last week of first degree murder.
Jurors returned the guilty verdict against David L. Seely, an ex-felon, on Thursday at the conclusion of his trial before District Judge Leah Edwards.
In the county’s first homicide of 2016, Seely stabbed another Moore man to death on January 7, leaving his body seven miles south of Dibble in the intersection of State Highway 76 and 150th Street.
The victim was Jackie T. Wesnidge, 28.
Seely’s life sentence is without the possibility of parole.
“I thanked the jury when they walked out,” Frank Wesnidge said Monday. Jackie Wesnidge was his son. “We are thankful to the district attorney, sheriff’s office, EMS responders and, of course, the jury.
“As a family, we are very grateful for the verdict.”
Misty Benefield, whom investigators identified as Wesnidge’s girlfriend, was with the two men when the stabbing occurred.
She was never charged and on August 23 testified for the prosecution that she was unaware Seely planned to kill Wesnidge.
McClain County Sheriff Don Hewett said at the time that investigators were told Wesnidge had been abusive to Benefield.
Seely and Benefield were friends and planned to take Wesnidge to a rural area, put him out of the car and leave him.
Benefield was in the back seat and the two men were in front when there was an altercation between Seely and Wesnidge.
Seely pushed the other man from the car and stabbed him numerous times as he lay on the ground.
Leaving the dying man behind, Seely and the woman sped away. Due to the high speed, Seely missed a curve and the car crashed through a fence and into a deep creek bed.
Seely and Benefield then fled on foot, going in opposite directions.
Seely ran into a pasture, but was spotted by the pilot of an Oklahoma Highway Patrol helicopter who directed officers to his location.
Benefield made it to a house about a mile from the wrecked car and residents called authorities.