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.” Why Summer Rust would call police on him was not explained. Durcho had served a four-year term in state prison for marijuana possession. At the time of the deaths, he had warrants out for his arrest for failing to appear in court in August for two new cases — a 2007 felony drunken-driving charge and a 2007 felony methamphetamine charge. Durcho was arrested Jan. 13 in Texas after crashing Summer Rust’s Ford Thunderbird. Before his arrest, he "visited family members and friends in an effort to sell a set of tools to finance his flight ... and he expressed no remorse for his conduct,” prosecutors stated. Prosecutors also stated in the legal document that the killings were methodical and the victims "struggled in vain” to prevent their deaths. Durcho went before the judge for 15 minutes Tuesday to learn his trial date. Canadian County District Judge Edward C. Cunningham entered pleas of not guilty for him. Watching the arraignment were a dozen friends and relatives of the victims. "There’s a part of my heart ripped out that I can never get back,” said Evynn’s grandfather, James Franklin of Oklahoma City. "It’s been ... months but it seems like it was just yesterday.”
NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
Special bill of particulars (Warning: graphic content)
• 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.