The year 2009 seemed to have more than its share of high-profile criminal cases. Here’s where some of them stand entering 2010:
El Reno slayingsSummer Rust, 25, her daughters Kirsten Rust, 7, Autumn Rust, 7, and Evynn Garas, 3, and son Teagin Rust, 4, were found strangled Jan. 12 in their El Reno apartment. Officials arrested Rust’s boyfriend, Joshua Steven Durcho, 26, a day later after he crashed Summer Rust’s car near Waco, Texas. Durcho, who remains jailed in Canadian County without bail, faces a trial April 5 on five murder counts. A judge in October denied a defense challenge to the death penalty.
Pharmacy shootingJerome Jay Ersland, 58, an Oklahoma City pharmacist, fatally shot would-be robber Antwun "Speedy” Parker, 16, on May 19 at Reliable Discount Pharmacy. Prosecutors charged Ersland with first-degree murder, saying he went too far by shooting Parker five times in the abdomen after previously knocking him unconscious with a shot to the head. A judge ruled Ersland’s trial, set for June 21, may be televised. Ersland remains free on bail. Prosecutors also charged Anthony D. Morrison, 43, Emanuel D. Mitchell, 31, and Jevontai Ingram, 15, with murder in Parker’s death, accusing Morrison and Mitchell of ordering Parker and Ingram to rob the store. A pretrial conference for Ingram is Jan. 8, and conferences for Morrison and Mitchell are Feb. 3. A woman arrested on a murder complaint in the incident was later released from jail and has not been formally charged.
Father slainLeroy Herrera, 41, was fatally stabbed at his home on Jan. 24. Prosecutors charged his daughter, Brittany Herrera, 16, and her boyfriend, Matthew Fox, 18, with murder in his death. Fox told The Oklahoman he killed Leroy Herrera in self-defense as they fought following a confrontation Herrera had with his daughter. Brittany Herrera and Fox next appear in court for a jury trial docket call Jan. 11, when a trial date could be set. Both remain jailed in Cleveland County.
Fatal turnpike crashTen people died in a crash June 26 on the Will Rogers Turnpike near the Miami, OK, exit. A tractor-trailer rig driven by Donald Leroy Creed, 76, of Willard, Mo., slammed into a line of vehicles stopped because of a previous wreck. Prosecutors charged Creed with 10 misdemeanor counts of negligent homicide in connection with the crash. He is next due in court April 6 for a docket call. A civil suit filed by the victims’ families is pending in Cleveland County District Court and seeks more than $10,000 in damages from Creed, his employer and others.
‘Cathouse’ star killingFour people, including two pregnant women, were found slain Nov. 9 in a burned Oklahoma City house. One of the victims, Brooke Phillips, 21, was a prostitute featured on an HBO reality series about the Moonlite Bunny Ranch, a brothel in Nevada. David Allen Tyner, 28, faces six first-degree murder counts in the deaths and remains jailed without bail in Oklahoma County. A pretrial conference is Jan. 27.
Nichols Hills slayingPolice found Dr. Stephen P. Wolf, 51, straddling his stabbed son, Tommy, 9, on the floor of their kitchen in Nichols Hills on Nov. 16. Wolf, who is charged with first-degree murder, told his wife and police, "He’s got the devil in him and you know it.” A judge ordered Wolf, who remains jailed without bail in Oklahoma County, to undergo competency testing. A pretrial conference is Jan. 25.
Anadarko pastorThe Rev. Carol Daniels, 61, was found dead, nude and mutilated Aug. 23 behind the altar of her tiny Anadarko church. Her body had been posed in a crucifix position. No one has been arrested or named as a suspect in connection with Daniels’ death. Anyone with information about Daniels’ death is asked to call the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation at (800) 522-8017. A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.
Home invasion deathFour people are charged with murder in the June 25 slaying of Richard Bradley Tucker, 38, at his Oklahoma City home. Officials said multiple people broke into the home and killed Tucker. One of the people charged, aspiring model Terri Rehm, 23, posted her account of the incident on MySpace before she surrendered to police, blaming the incident on drugs. Rehm, James Elton McCandless Jr., 25, Jesse Dean Sattarella, 21, and Bradley Scott Sanders, 26, are jailed without bail in Oklahoma County. A preliminary hearing for all four is Jan. 29. MICHAEL KIMBALL, Staff Writer
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