Hearings are planned in several 2009 Oklahoma cases

Oklahoman Published: January 2, 2010
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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 slayings
Summer 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 shooting
Jerome 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 slain
Leroy 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 crash
Ten 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.

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