Oklahoma judge rejects request to move Joshua Durcho trial

A Canadian County judge has denied a motion to move the trial of a man accused of killing his former girlfriend and her four children.
By Nolan Clay - Staff Writer Modified: June 23, 2010 at 4:10 pm •  Published: June 23, 2010

EL RENO – A judge today refused to move ex-convict Joshua Steven Durcho's murder trial out of El Reno.

The jury trial is set to begin Sept. 13 in Canadian County District Court.

Durcho, 27, is charged with five counts of first-degree murder. His attorneys asked for the trial to be moved. They argued potential jurors in Canadian County could not be fair because they were too shaken by the deaths and too exposed to publicity.

A prosecutor argued that fair jurors could be found from the probably 80,000 residents eligible for jury duty in Canadian County, particularly since much of the county’s population lives outside of El Reno.

District Judge Gary E. Miller said defense attorneys could re-urge their request to move the trial during jury selection when there will be “a much clearer picture” of the impact of the case on residents.

Durcho is accused of strangling his girlfriend, Summer Rust, 25; her daughters, Kirsten Rust, 7, Autumn Rust, 7, and Evynn Garas, 3; and her son, Teagin Rust, 4.

Their bodies were found Jan. 12, 2009, in their El Reno apartment. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

The next hearing was set for July 22.

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