MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

January 2, 2014

Man found competent to stand trial for murder

Trial in shooting expected on February/March jury docket

A Muskogee man has been found competent to stand trial for first-degree murder.

John Eldridge Cone Jr., 19, of Muskogee is charged with first-degree murder and assault and battery with a deadly weapon in the Sept. 6, 2012 , shooting death of Skyler Brewer.

Brewer, 26, was found shot to death outside a house in the 2000 block of West Broadway.

Court documents allege Cone also tried to shoot another man, Robert Carmans, at the same time. Investigators said Carmans was grazed by a bullet, but he refused treatment.

A disposition docket is set for Jan. 17, and Cone’s trial will probably be on the February/March jury docket, said Larry Moore, Muskogee County district attorney.

A mental observation and evaluation of Cone was ordered in June, court records state. Cone was found competent previously by a medical professional, Moore said.

In November, defense attorney R. Jay Cook objected to the mental evaluation of his client, arguing before District Judge Thomas H. Alford that the evaluation “is hearsay without the examiner here to testify.”

The competency hearing was continued to Thursday so that the doctor could appear as a witness.

Moore said the doctor was interviewed by Cook before the scheduled competency hearing Thursday. After meeting with the doctor, Cone, Cone’s mother, and the defense attorney stipulated to the findings in the doctor’s report, Moore said.

That decision by the defense attorney allowed the judge to find Cone competent, Moore said.

Cone’s evaluation was conducted at Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita.

Reach Anita Reding at (918) 684-2903 or areding@muskogeephoenix.com.

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