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New Evidence in Case Against Man Accused in Weleetka Killings
New DNA evidence could delay the trial of a man accused of
killing his fiancé and two young girls in Weleetka. Kevin Sweat is facing the possibility of the
death penalty for the murders of Ashley Taylor, Skyla Whitacker and Taylor
The first case to go to trial will be the Ashley Taylor
case. During the preliminary hearing
prosecutors said they were only able to get a partial match to remains found in
a burn pile on the property of Kevin’s father.
However, sources tell Fox 25 a new DNA test has proven conclusively the
remains are those of his fiancé. “That eases my mind quite a bit,” said Ashley’s father
Taylor says prosecutors have told him they were also able to get
a partial DNA match from material found on an ax recovered from Sweat’s
car. While it is not a full DNA match, Taylor says it would be
difficult to argue the DNA belongs to anyone but his daughter. “In order to find a match, like that again
you would have to repopulate the earth seven times over for it not to be Ashley.”
Defense attorneys are asking for a delay in the trial, which
is now scheduled for October. Court
documents show they want more time to review and test the new DNA results. Sweat’s defense team is also calling on
prosecutors to make more of their evidence available. Attorneys say a line in the Bill of
Particulars, the document filed by prosecutors in order to seek the death
penalty, says Sweat is suspected of other “unrelated crimes.” Sweat’s attorneys want to know every case he
is being investigated in connection to in order to prepare for trial.
Michael Taylor says he wouldn’t be surprised if there were
additional cases. “He's… accused of killing three people, one of those my
daughter and for somebody to do that…I think the next obvious step would be for
the OSBI to look at him for other things just to make sure.”
Additional court documents show Sweat is seeking to limit
the effect of pre-trial publicity.
Defense attorneys have submitted a proposed jury questionnaire. Such questionnaires are rarely used, but Fox
25 Legal Analyst David Slane says they can help while selecting a jury in
high-profile cases. “Both sides are hopefully looking for a jury of his peers
that will be fair and impartial,” Slane said.
Slane says the Sweat questionnaire may provide even more
clues to the defense strategy. The final
question on the form asks prospective jurors if they would consider a “killer’s
life, family and personal history, motivation and other social or environmental
factors” before deciding on the death penalty.
“What it tells me is this case may be more
about not whether or not the person is guilty but what should be the
punishment,” Slane told Fox 25, “Should it be death or should it be possibility
life in prison without parole.”
It’s the same kind of sympathy
Sweat’s friends are asking the public to consider. In a post on a site of one of Sweat’s online
aliases a user who calls herself a friend writes “. He didn't know what
he was doing when he killed those two girls. If you were on what he was on and
you saw monsters trying to attack you, you would probably try to kill them as
well.” The user says Sweat should not
have used hallucinogens nor should he have had a weapon with him when he did,
but blames his “curious” mind and misguided upbringing.
“You can't justify, he knew right
from wrong, he tried to cover his tracks,” Taylor said, “So that tells you right there
he is sane enough to stand trial.”
Posted: Monday, September 3 2012, 09:41 PM CDT
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Tulsa agencies assisting in Moore recovery
May 22, 2013 07:50 GMT
TULSA, Okla. (AP) -- The city of Tulsa is sending a contingent of workers to help with the recovery in Moore, including its coordinator for grants.
The city said Tuesday that the Tulsa Area Emergency Management Agency deputy director and the city's finance and grants coordinator are helping with communication efforts.
At the request of emergency managers, the city sent an urban search and rescue team to help with the search at Plaza Towers Elementary School, which collapsed in the tornado.
The Tulsa police sent an incident management team to assist as needed at Moore.
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