Man Charged In Murder Of Weleetka Girls Appears In Court
OKEMAH, Oklahoma - The preliminary hearing has begun for an Okmulgee man accused in the shooting deaths of two Weleetka girls.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Kevin Sweat. He'll have to wait until at least Tuesday to find out if he'll stand trial for the murders of 13-year-old Taylor Paschal Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker.
The girls were found shot to death along a rural Okfuskee County road in June 2008.
Kevin Sweat was very quiet Monday in the courtroom, and didn't say much as he left the courthouse.
Prosecutors say Sweat shot and killed the girls less than 1,000 feet from Taylor Placker's home.
The state's first witness, Monday, was Taylor's grandfather, Peter Placker, who talked about finding her body. He seemed to be holding back tears while saying that Taylor considered him her father, since he'd raised her from birth.
An OSBI investigator told the court that both Skyla and Taylor had been shot several times, including some defensive wounds on their hands and arms.
Prosecutors also traced the history of the gun Sweat is alleged to have used. At one point, they say it belonged to the Baltimore Police Department. It then went back to the manufacturer, before being sold at an Okemah gun shop. A man who purchased the gun said he eventually sold it to Kevin Sweat.
Sweat is also accused in a separate case of killing his girlfriend, Ashley Taylor. His trial on that charge is scheduled for June 10, in Okmulgee County.
Ashley's father, Michael Taylor, watched the testimony Monday and said he has a hard time accepting that Kevin Sweat is the same person who dated his daughter.
"The Kevin I see in there isn't the Kevin I saw when he was dating my daughter," said Michael Taylor. "It isn't the same person. When he sat in my home, at my table, talking to me, that isn't the same Kevin."
Prosecutors still have a few more witnesses to call, and they'll do that first thing Tuesday morning. The judge will decide if there's enough evidence to try Sweat on the charges shortly thereafter.