Testimony begins in trial of teen accused of setting deadly house fire in Oklahoma City

Tristan Owen, 17, is charged with first-degree murder and first-degree arson in the July 13, 2011, deaths of Boyd and Doris Haynes.
by Tim Willert Modified: February 15, 2013 at 9:34 pm •  Published: February 15, 2013
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A teen accused of setting a deadly fire texted “I might go to prison” about an hour after the house started burning, a friend testified Friday.

Tristan Owen, 17, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree arson.

The fire killed Boyd Haynes, 87, and his wife, Doris Haynes, 86, as they slept in their south Oklahoma City home July 13, 2011.

Owen is accused of starting a fire inside a trash container outside the couple's garage, which spread to the structure.

Prosecutors said he first lit several small fires after being asked to leave a party because he was acting “unruly.”

The friend, Jennifer Schur, testified Owen was drinking at the early-morning party and told her he was using prescription medication.

Schur told jurors Owen routinely sent her unusual texts to get her to answer her phone, but nothing quite like the one she received at 4:59 a.m.

“Call me when you wake up. I might go to prison,” the text read. “Please call when you wake up.”

Owen's attorney told jurors in his opening statement there is no evidence linking his client to the July 13, 2011, fire that killed the couple just a few hours before they were scheduled to move into an assisted living facility.

Terry Haynes, the couple's son, took the stand and told the jury he stayed until midnight to help his parents pack for their move the next morning.

He said it was raining outside, and he pulled the trash container closer to the garage so he wouldn't get wet each time he walked outside with trash.


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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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