TULSA - The suspect in a fatal knifing had lost a fistfight with the victim only minutes before the attack, a witness to the stabbing testified Monday.
Brandon Clay Stewart, 15, is charged as an adult on a first-degree murder charge for the Oct. 16 slaying of Brenton Epperly, 16. Both were students at Sperry High School.
Three witnesses, including the victim's sister, testified during Stewart's preliminary hearing.
Special Judge Clancy Smith postponed the rest of the hearing until Jan. 8. He could determine then if Stewart is to be recertified as a juvenile or tried under the state's juvenile offender act - both requests of the defense.
Until his arrest, Stewart was living in Sperry with his great aunt, Edna Vanarsdel. She said that he was a ward of the state of Nebraska.
Brian Aspan, a public defender representing Stewart, and James Dunn, assistant district attorney, said they want records about Stewart from Nebraska agencies.
Aspan said he also would seek a psychiatric examination. He said that Stewart was abandoned by his mother. She now lives in Tennessee and has called only once about the case. There has been no contact with the father.
Billy Conley, 19, said he was working on his car when Epperly arrived at his house. About 30 minutes later, Stewart arrived on his bicycle.
Both later went to what was a described as "the club house," a nondescript building nearby.
His brother, Sherman Conley, 15, testified that at the club house the two youths got into a fight.
Stewart pushed Epperly, who pushed back. Then, the younger Conley testified, Epperly hit Stewart three or four times with his fists.
Stewart threatened Epperly with a knife, the younger Conley said. The two returned to the Conley house separately and several minutes apart.
Upon his return, Stewart found that his bike had been moved and accused Epperly of trying to steal it.
Epperly walked toward Stewart, who pulled out his knife.
Epperly's sister, Brenda, who was at the Conley home, said her brother put his hands up when he and Stewart were about 1 1/2 feet apart.
That's when Epperly was stabbed in the chest. Stewart fled and threw the knife away while being chased by others, according to testimony. He was apprehended later by Tulsa County sheriff's deputies.Archive ID: 829502