The Norman Transcript

September 14, 2013

Brothers bound over for trial in Tulsa murder case

By Justin Juozapavicius
The Associated Press

TULSA — Two brothers accused of robbing and shooting four women to death in January should stand trial on first-degree murder charges, a judge ruled Friday in Tulsa district court.

Cedric Poore and James Poore were stone-faced as they were led away from the courtroom in shackles on the seventh day of their preliminary hearing in the killings of 23-year-old twins Rebeika Powell and Kayetie Melchor, 33-year-old Misty Nunley and 55-year-old Julie Jackson.

The brothers are accused of robbing the four women, then shooting them out of fear of being recognized by their victims.

The women were discovered around midday in a back bedroom of Powell’s apartment on Jan. 7. All four had their hands tied behind their backs with blue or pink fabric and gunshots to the head.

Judge Stephen Clark set a Sept. 23 arraignment for both men. Prosecutors have yet to decide whether they’ll seek the death penalty.

The brothers have each pleaded not guilty to the first-degree killings and are being represented by separate attorneys.

“These women must have been terrorized,” First Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond told the court in closing statements early Friday. “There was only one gun, so the others had to witness (the others being shot.) “It was cold-blooded murder in that apartment.”

After the hearing, Drummond said the case was likely among the longest preliminary hearings he’d ever tried as a prosecutor. He said he has been advising family members of the women to be patient in their wait for justice.

“This is going to be a long road,” he said.

The four attorneys representing the Poores argued Friday that the state built a flimsy case on unreliable witnesses who admittedly used drugs and cut deals with the state and wanted the chance to call their own witnesses to prove it — a request Clark denied.

“We want to put the testimony under scrutiny,” said John Echols, a defense attorney for Cedric Poore.

On Wednesday, a teenager testified James Poore told him and several others that he and Cedric Poore had to shoot the four women — who lived in the same apartment complex — because they recognized him.

Earlier this week, James Poore’s girlfriend, Jamila Jones, testified under an agreement with the state that she had tipped James off to jewelry, drugs and money inside Powell’s apartment.