EL RENO — A judge ruled Monday a jury can see the recorded admission of the ex-convict accused of killing his girlfriend and her four children.
Joshua Steven Durcho admitted to OSBI agents to having a fight with girlfriend Summer Rust. He said he blacked out with his hands around her neck.
His trial is scheduled to begin in February.
His attorneys wanted the judge to suppress his 2009 statements because he asked for a lawyer beforehand.
The defense attorneys argued Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents played psychological games on Durcho to elicit the statements. They complained agents wrongfully prolonged their contact with Durcho after he said he wanted an attorney by feigning interest in his tattoos.
The prosecutor said Durcho, 28, talked about the fight after agents stopped trying to interrogate him. The prosecutor said Durcho spoke about it when agents told him he was charged with five counts of first-degree murder and offered to get him some water because he was crying.
Canadian County District Judge Gary E. Miller agreed Durcho was not being interrogated when he made the statements. The judge also noted OSBI agents repeatedly reminded Durcho of his rights during their time with him.
The OSBI agents met with Durcho in Texas on Jan. 14, 2009, after he wrecked his girlfriend's car the night before and was released from a hospital. He was in custody.
“Five counts? What are you ... talking about?” Durcho said when told of his murder charge. “All I know is that me and ... Summer were getting into it. ... I blacked out.”
Using profanity, Durcho said in the recording, “I can't believe they're dead. All I know is me and Summer was ... fighting and ... the next thing I know I ... blacked out and I had my hands around her ... neck and then next thing I know I blacked out again. That's all I ... know.”
“And I woke up in a ... hospital,” he said to the agents. “That's all I know. That's all I know.”
Prosecutors allege Durcho strangled Rust, 25, because she threatened to call police on him and he had vowed he would never go back to prison.
They allege he strangled her three daughters, Kirsten Rust, 7, Autumn Rust, 7, and Evynn Garas, 3, and her son, Teagin Rust, 4, to eliminate them as witnesses. The victims' bodies were found Jan. 12, 2009, in their El Reno apartment.
Durcho has spent time in prison for marijuana possession. At the time of the deaths, warrants were out for his arrest in a drunken-driving case and a methamphetamine case.
The judge watched the recording in court in September. He ruled after hearing testimony from one OSBI agent in September and a second OSBI agent last week.