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Man accused in Oklahoma family slaying gets hearing

EL RENO— An Oklahoma man accused of killing his girlfriend and her four children is the subject of a hearing in El Reno over a claim he is mentally retarded.

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Published: July 30, 2012
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EL RENO — An Oklahoma man accused of killing his girlfriend and her four children is the subject of a hearing in El Reno over a claim he is mentally retarded.

Testimony over the mental state of 29-year-old Joshua Durcho was held earlier and lawyers are to argue on Monday whether the death penalty should be removed from the case due to Durcho's intelligence level.

Durcho is charged with five counts of first-degree murder in the 2009 deaths of 25-year-old Summer Rust and her children — 3-year-old Evynn Garas, 4-year-old Teagin Rust, and daughters Kirsten and Autumn Rust, who were both 7.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty, but Oklahoma law prohibits death sentences if the defendant meets what state law defines as mental retardation, which includes an IQ of 70 or below.

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