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Prosecutors will seek death in El Reno killings

BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: May 20, 2009 at 8:54 am •  Published: May 20, 2009
EL RENO — An ex-convict "had vowed he would never go back to prison,” so he killed his girlfriend because she threatened to call police, prosecutors alleged Tuesday.

They alleged Joshua Steven Durcho, 26, strangled her three daughters and son Jan. 12 to eliminate them as witnesses and to give himself time to flee.

Afterward, "he expressed no remorse for his conduct,” they said.

Prosecutors revealed the possible motive in a 14-page legal document seeking the death penalty. They also revealed they have evidence of sexual misconduct against the two oldest girls’ bodies at the time of or possibly after their deaths.

Durcho faces five counts of first-degree murder. A judge Tuesday set his trial for April 5.

He is accused of strangling 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 in their El Reno apartment. The children’s bodies were in a partially filled bathtub.

Durcho "abused” Kirsten’s body sexually and committed a sex act on or near Autumn’s body "at or near the time he murdered” them, prosecutors in the case alleged.

The evidence of abuse of Kirsten’s body includes injuries in and near her genital and anal areas, according to an autopsy report.

Prosecutors stated in the legal document that Durcho admitted to a witness, an Edmond woman, shortly after the deaths that he choked Summer Rust "because she threatened to call the police.

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Special bill of particulars (Warning: graphic content)

Why seek the death penalty?

Here are the four reasons prosecutors say Joshua Steven Durcho "should be punished by death”:


• They say he knowingly created a risk of death to more than one person.


• They say the killings were especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.


• They say the killings were for the purpose of avoiding arrest.


• They say there’s a probability he would commit future violent acts that would be a continuing threat to society.

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