MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 7, 2014

Judge to decide on motion in Tulsa shooting case


— TULSA (AP)  —  A Tulsa judge didn’t immediately rule Tuesday whether the public defender’s office should be disqualified from representing key witnesses involved in a 2013 case in which four women were fatally shot.

Cedric and James Poore have pleaded not guilty to killing 23-year-old twins Rebeika Powell and Kayetie Melchor, 33-year-old Misty Nunley and 55-year-old Julie Jackson. They are being represented by different attorneys.

Prosecutors allege the brothers robbed the women and then shot them out of fear of being recognized.

Attorneys for the brothers have argued the public defender’s office has at some point represented seven witnesses in the case.

The attorneys allege the same office can’t represent multiple witnesses, especially with the chance their testimony could conflict with one another. Attorneys also argued Tuesday during a brief hearing that some of the witnesses might be involved in the crime.

“It’s apparent some of the witnesses are viable as suspects in the case,” said Wes Johnson, defense attorney for James Poore.

Judge William Kellough said after the hearing that he’ll issue a ruling on the matter by Jan. 24.

Tulsa County First Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond, who is still considering whether his office will seek the death penalty for the pair, had no comment on the public defender’s role in representing the witnesses, deferring the opinion to the judge.

The four women were discovered around midday in a back bedroom of Powell’s apartment one year ago Tuesday.

All four had their hands tied behind their backs with blue or pink fabric and gunshots to the head.