Share “Judge rules prosecutors can seek death...”

Judge rules prosecutors can seek death sentence in Oklahoma City cold case

The murder trial for Kyle Richard Eckardt was set for Sept. 26. Prosecutors allege Eckardt raped then killed Kathy Sue Engle in 1986.
BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: November 30, 2010 at 6:12 am •  Published: November 30, 2010

The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals requires prosecutors to announce before or at arraignment whether they will seek a death sentence. The deadline was set so defense attorneys can have adequate time to prepare mitigation. Exceptions are allowed.

Prosecutors explained they decided to seek the death penalty because of insights from new information.

The new information in the case is that a second suspect, Steven A. Boerner, was identified in May from his fingerprint on the victim's steering wheel. Boerner, an ex-convict from Michigan, died in 1992 in a trucking accident.

The new insights came when prosecutors learned Boerner supposedly had confessed to a cellmate. Prosecutors said the cellmate reported Boerner admitted that he and another man kidnapped an Oklahoma woman in the 1980s, that they took her and her vehicle, that he drove while the other man raped her, and that they took the woman out into the country and cut her throat. has disabled the comments for this article.