MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

July 16, 2013

Witness says uncle admitted Tulsa apartment killings

— TULSA (AP) — One of two brothers charged in the shooting deaths of four women at a Tulsa apartment complex confided to his niece that he’d committed the crime, she testified Monday.

Quashaun Poore, 19, told the Tulsa district court that her uncle, James Poore, admitted his role in the crimes a day after the Jan. 7 shooting deaths of twins Rebeika Powell and Kayetie Melchor, 23, Misty Nunley, 33, and Julie Jackson, 55.

“He said he did it and nobody’s going to suspect that he did it,” said Poore, who is the daughter of the other brother on trial, Cedric Poore.

James and Cedric Poore have pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the killings.

The women were found in a run-down apartment complex, and were tied up and shot in the head. Investigators believe the brothers robbed the women and then killed them because they feared they would be identified.

Monday was the first day of the preliminary hearing, and it’s expected to last through Tuesday. The brothers are represented by separate attorneys.

Quashaun Poore said her uncle would open up to her about what was he was thinking because he considered her the daughter he never had.

She said that James Poore told her that on the day of the killings, “they were just doing what they normally were doing and something went wrong.” She testified that her uncle did not specify what he was doing or what exactly went wrong, and that he also didn’t specify whether Cedric Poore was with him.

Quashaun Poore said James Poore also told her that he went home to take a shower after the shootings “because he had blood on him.”

Kathy Fry, James Poore’s defense attorney, asked why Quashaun waited months to tell of the alleged confession to the authorities. She testified that she was afraid to go to the police.

“How long did it take you to come up with this story?” Fry asked.

“I didn’t come up with this story,” Poore responded.

Later Monday, prosecutors called a neighbor and friend of Powell’s who walked in on the grisly crime scene. She broke down when prosecutors showed her a photograph of the scene.

“How could somebody do that to those women?” she cried.

Last week, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied a bid by defense attorneys seeking the recusal of the special judge overseeing the early stages of the case.

The attorneys had argued that the judge, Stephen Clark, ordered a witness to meet with district attorneys or face the risk of prosecution, making the witness believe she must “play ball” with the prosecutors.

The court rejected that claim, paving the way for Monday’s preliminary hearing to begin.

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