EL RENO — An ex-convict is a step closer to a murder trial over the strangulation deaths of his girlfriend and her four children.
Joshua Durcho, 26, opted Thursday not to have a preliminary hearing in his case. His arraignment is set for May 19. Durcho is charged with five first-degree murder counts. 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 in January in their El Reno apartment.
Legal experts said it is unusual for a murder defendant to waive his preliminary hearing in a case where prosecutors plan to seek a death sentence.