WATONGA — The cousin of Rosalin Reynolds, 8, of Watonga, whose blood-soaked body was found by her father near a freshly dug hole in the ground, will stand trial in her stabbing death.
James “Icey” Daukei Jr., 21, is charged with first-degree murder.
The man is a cousin to Erma Daukei, Rosalin's mother.
The case was sent to trial Monday afternoon at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing that started that morning.
Investigators said James Daukei confessed he killed the child and was digging a hole in a field behind her apartment complex to bury the body when he was confronted by her father, Ralph Reynolds, the morning of March 23.
“The reported confession has come into question,” said Josh Lee, Daukei's attorney.
Lee declined to comment further.
Rosalin's body had eight stab wounds including the fatal 4-inch wound that went through her heart and punctured her liver, medical examiners said.
District Attorney Mike Fields said four witnesses testified Monday — former neighbor Bradley Skinner, Watonga police officer Perry Rackley, Blaine County sheriff's Deputy Lonny Spiva and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agent Martin Solarzano.
A tearful Erma Daukei and about 25 other spectators attended the hearing, Fields said.
Skinner testified that Ralph Reynolds cried over his daughter and said “Daddy's here,” as he cradled her in his arms after finding her body.
Erma Daukei told Skinner about 4:45 a.m. March 23 that her daughter was missing, Skinner testified.
He said he grabbed a couple of flashlights and joined Ralph Reynolds and another neighbor in the search.
The autopsy report shows the victim had a perforated hymen.
Rosalin's parents said after the slaying they believed their daughter had been sexually assaulted.
Rosalin's body was found with her nightgown pulled up and bloodstained underwear on her upper right leg, the autopsy report states.
When asked if the girl had been sexually assaulted, Fields declined to comment on her parents' statements but said he submitted a certified copy of the autopsy report into evidence.
Ralph Reynolds and Erma Daukei did not return telephone calls Monday.
Arraignment date is set
James “Icey” Daukei Jr. is due back in district court Sept. 15 for arraignment. District Attorney Mike Fields said he will decide by then whether he will seek the death penalty.