EL RENO — An ex-convict accused of killing his girlfriend and her four children told two OSBI agents he blacked out during a fight with her.
Joshua Steven Durcho, 28, wept for several minutes after agents told him in 2009 that he was charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
“I can't believe they're dead,” he said in a 2009 recording played Monday in a Canadian County courtroom.
District Judge Gary E. Miller watched the recording of Durcho's statements to agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.
The judge also heard testimony from Martin Solorzano, one of the agents who met with Durcho in Texas on Jan. 14, 2009. Durcho was being held in a county jail in Texas after wrecking his girlfriend's car the night before and being examined at a hospital.
At issue is whether jurors can see the recording during Durcho's murder trial next year. The judge will rule after hearing testimony in October from a second OSBI agent.
Prosecutors allege Durcho strangled Summer 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.
After his arrest in Texas, Durcho told the agents early in the meeting that he wanted to see an attorney but then made a few statements anyway.
In the recording, he reacted like he was surprised when he was told he was charged with five counts of first-degree murder.
“Five counts? What are you … talking about?” Durcho said, using profanity. “All I know is that me and … Summer were getting into it. … I blacked out.”
He wept as he spoke, putting his head on his handcuffed hands. Using profanity again, 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.”
Defense attorneys want the judge to rule the statements inadmissible. They suggest the OSBI agents should have left the interview room immediately after Durcho said he wanted an attorney.
“There's nothing to say I can't stay in the room,” Solorzano testified.
Even if the judge bars the recording, prosecutors have other testimony that Durcho admitted attacking his girlfriend. Durcho on Jan. 12, 2009, told an Edmond woman that he choked his girlfriend until she was dead and that he was leaving Oklahoma, according to a court affidavit.
He did not admit to that witness that he killed the children, according to the court affidavit. Instead, he told the witness the children were with a grandmother in Las Vegas, Nev.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.