Convicted rapist faces murder trial in 1975 Oklahoma City cold case

Thomas Levering, 62, is charged with the first-degree murder of Jerry Ann Watson, 38, whose decomposing body was found Dec. 30, 1975, in a wooded area in far northwest Oklahoma County.
by Matt Dinger Published: September 19, 2013
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A convicted rapist serving six life sentences will stand trial on a murder charge in the strangulation of an Oklahoma City woman in 1975, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Thomas Levering, 62, is charged with the first-degree murder of Jerry Ann Watson, 38, whose decomposing body was found Dec. 30, 1975, in a wooded area in far northwest Oklahoma County.

The retired Oklahoma City police crime scene investigator who processed Watson's car when it was found outside of the Montgomery Ward store at Penn Square Mall while her disappearance was still a missing person's case testified about two fingerprints taken from the vehicle, as did the Oklahoma City police expert who matched a print to Levering.

Another Oklahoma City police officer who was 8 years old when she found Watson's purse in a trash container near her northwest Oklahoma City home also took the stand, as did Mike Burke, an Oklahoma County district attorney's investigator who interviewed Levering and took DNA swabs from him last year.

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by Matt Dinger
Court Reporter
Matt Dinger was born and raised in Oklahoma City. He has worked in OPUBCO's News and Information Center since 2006, and has been assigned to the breaking news desk since its formation in fall 2008. He specializes in crime and police reporting.
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