Asher man to stand trial in 18-year-old's death, judge rules

A former East Central University student accused of shooting and killing another student for no apparent reason will stand trial, a judge in Pottawatomie County ruled Thursday.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: April 11, 2013 at 9:33 pm •  Published: April 12, 2013

victim was lured

Both Murray and Sanchez were freshmen at East Central University and lived on the same floor in the Pesagi Hall dormitory at the time of the killing.

Sanchez's body was found in a ditch near Asher, Murray's hometown in south Pottawatomie County. He had been fatally shot in the head, Undersheriff J.T. Palmer wrote in an affidavit.

Murray, 18, who was arrested near the homicide scene Dec. 6, confessed to killing Sanchez simply to see how it would feel, Palmer wrote.

The affidavit states that Murray claims to have no remorse about shooting Sanchez, who was lured to death after he agreed to give Murray a ride to a store in exchange for $20.

Others students

believed targeted

Authorities say Murray may have targeted other students living in Pesagi Hall.

A search warrant affidavit filed Dec. 7 in Pontotoc County states that Murray boasted to his roommate on the night of Sanchez's killing that he'd “reached or accomplished objective A.”

Josh Dean, an investigator for the district attorney's office in Hughes, Pontotoc and Seminole counties, wrote in the search warrant affidavit that Murray's statements about reaching “objective A” are troubling to law enforcement officials.

The statement “leads investigators to believe Murray has planned out other objectives to be ‘reached' or ‘accomplished,'” Dean wrote. “Homicide suspects oftentimes make lists or documentation on preplanned crimes in order not to forget details.”

Shane Schroth, the defendant's former roommate, told investigators Murray was wearing a black suit, yellow shirt, black trench coat, a black fedora and black dress shoes on the night of the killing.


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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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