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June 13, 2014

Loretta Hawks in court following first-degree murder conviction of Eddie Thompson

NORMAN — Children of murder victim Arthur Strozewski testified Thursday afternoon, revisiting the night of a crime that has so far resulted in one defendant proven guilty. The second defendant in the stabbing murder case pleaded not guilty.

Eddie Thompson, 35, received a life sentence without parole Tuesday afternoon for the murder of Strozewski, 47.

Loretta Hawks, 35, has been charged conjointly with Thompson and Sebastian Shepard, 19, on two counts of kidnapping, one count of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree burglary. Hawks has pleaded not guilty for all four counts.

Hawks’ jury trial began Thursday afternoon in District Judge Thad Balkman’s court room at the Cleveland County Court House. Opening statements presented the jury with a timeline of events from the early morning hours of Aug. 31, 2012, the date of Strozewski’s murder at 9305 Winston Way in Oklahoma City.

Strozewski was attacked in his home around 3:30 a.m., suffering from more than 20 stab wounds, according to court records. Strozewski died later that day after being taken to the OU Medical Center.

Strozewski’s children, Brandi Strozewski, 16 at the time of the incident, and Zak Strozewski, 14 at the time, were in the home when two men broke in.

“‘If you scream, I’ll kill your dad,’” Zak said, quoting a deep voice he said he woke up to that night. With someone on his back, he was pushed forcefully down onto his bed and tied up with duct tape, he said.

Zak described the men who invaded his home, with one appearing taller than the other and one sounding older than the other. Once he was restrained, Zak said the men left his room and moved down to his father’s bedroom, where the violence continued.

“I heard my dad say, ‘Hey,’” Zak said, as if his father was alarmed by whoever he had encountered. Zak said he had been sick that day with a cold, leaving him home from school for the day. The last time he heard his father yelling was in the hallway.

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