Death penalty sought in Lawton teen’s case

BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Modified: May 16, 2014 at 8:39 am •  Published: May 16, 2014
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LAWTON — A prosecutor told a judge that he intends to seek the death penalty against a Lawton teenager accused of killing his father and 14-year-old brother.

Comanche County Assistant District Attorney Mark Stoneman said Thursday that his office will file a bill of particulars seeking the death penalty against 18-year-old Thorsten Rushing. Prosecutors accuse Rushing of killing his father, Uwe Rushing, and his brother, Stefan. Prosecutors allege that Thorsten Rushing recruited four teenage classmates to help in the crime, and those four teens have all agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for plea deals.

Prosecutors said they'll seek the death penalty because the crime was especially heinous or cruel.

Thorsten Rushing initially told police that two unknown people forced their way into the home with guns, shot his father and brother before he scared them away with a shotgun blast. But authorities later said that account didn't add up, and Rushing was charged in the deaths of his father and brother.

A local newspaper reports that Thorsten Rushing pleaded not guilty to two counts of first-degree murder Thursday. Rushing's attorney, Stephen Jones, said he may seek to delay Rushing's trial, now set for the fall.

"The state's case relies in a large degree on circumstantial evidence," Jones said. The primary evidence, he said, are the statements of the four co-defendants, which Jones called "inconsistent with several earlier statements and with each other" as well as being inconsistent with the facts of the case.

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