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Attorneys outline cases for jury in Oklahoma County trial of teen accused of setting fatal fire

Tristan Owen is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the July 13, 2011, deaths of Boyd Haynes, 87, and his wife, Doris Haynes, 86, of Oklahoma City. Owen also faces an arson charge.
by Tim Willert Modified: February 14, 2013 at 9:59 pm •  Published: February 15, 2013

A Oklahoma County prosecutor called on jurors Thursday to convict a teen accused of setting a deadly fire, saying he was under the influence and unruly before lighting a series of fires.

The attorney for Tristan Owen, though, told the jury there is no evidence linking him to the July 13, 2011, fire that killed Boyd and Doris Haynes as they slept in their south Oklahoma City home.

“I can tell you their testimony will not support the evidence in this case,” defense attorney Francis Courbois said in his opening statement. “I expect the evidence is not going to connect him with the house.”

Owen, 17, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson.

The couple died of smoke inhalation, just a few hours before they were scheduled to move into an assisted living facility. Boyd Haynes was 87 and his wife was 86.

Owen is accused of starting a fire inside a trash container outside the couple's garage that spread to the structure. The couple's son was helping them pack and moved the container next to the house, Assistant District Attorney David Nichols told the panel.

Nichols, in his opening statement, said friends of the defendant will testify that he was drinking and taking pills and was asked to leave a gathering because he was “acting unruly.”

Two of those friends will say they saw Owen — then 15 — ignite a pair of pajama pants in his driveway about 3:45 a.m., shortly before the fatal fire, the prosecutor said.

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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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