Steven L. Just, 41, of rural Roland entered a no contest plea to a murder charge Thursday in Sequoyah County District Court, Sallisaw. Just was accused of shooting his father to death on Oct. 13 at the home where they both lived.
A no contest plea means that the defendant, while not admitting guilt, does admit to the truth of the facts alleged in the indictment, information of complaint.
District Judge Jeff Payton, after questioning Just closely about the consequences of his change of plea, set a sentencing date for Dec. 7. Just quietly acknowledged he understood each of the judge's questions. Judge Payton will call for a pre-sentencing investigation before the sentencing.
According to the affidavit filed with the charge on Oct. 21, police reported Steven Just told them he was angry with his father for not giving him the money to go visit his seven-year-old son, Jacob, who was awaiting a heart transplant in a St. Louis, Mo,. hospital. The boy died on Oct. 11. On Oct. 13, according to the report, Steven Just was believed to have been drinking, and was at his parents' home in the late afternoon when he confronted his father. Steven Just told the investigators, "I'd had enough, my son just died, he treated my mom like____, he wasn't about to contribute to my son's _____ funeral or nothing." Steven Just told investigators his father went to his truck and came back with a shovel. Just said he believed his father was going to beat him with the shovel. He then went to his father's bedroom and got his father's .22-caliber pistol and shot his father as the elder Just walked toward his son. According to the report, Steven Just said, "All I know is he was coming at me with a shovel and I was ____ scared and I shot him."
Steven Just has been in the county jail ever since his arrest.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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