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Homicide Rates Down In OKC For 2013

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This year, homicides are down 25 percent compared to last year. This year, homicides are down 25 percent compared to last year.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

Oklahoma City's homicide rates are down for 2013. This year, homicides are down 25 percent compared to last year.

Oklahoma City Police called 2012 an unusually deadly year, but pointed out the trend this year has improved. Homicide detectives have opened 75 cases to date.

Investigators opened the first case in January, when neighbors found a woman stabbed to death in her front yard on SW 63rd St. The killing was the result of a domestic dispute.

Several high-profile cases followed, including the murder of 7-year-old Adrian Avalos, who died in a house fire after a couple burglarized his home.

A deadly bar fight at The Office in northwest Oklahoma City was eventually linked to two separate murders. Investigators also worked the gruesome case of a beloved convenience store clerk shot and killed at Four Seasons Store on NE 63rd & Broadway Extension.

As the cases stacked up, most solved, Oklahoma City Police MSgt. Gary Knight said the murder rate for 2013 fell from last year.

In 2012, Oklahoma City worked 99 homicides, calling it an unusually deadly year in comparison to others.  Knight explained there is no rhyme or reason for the decline in killings.

"There is just not a good predictor of it. Sometimes you can look at drive-by shootings and if those are up then sometimes your homicide rate will be up. There are a number of factors."

Still, investigators have solved up 80% of homicides each year. In 2012, 29 of the 99 homicides remain unsolved and 80% have been solved this year. Fifteen homicide cases remain open to date.

The Oklahoma County District Attorney's Office has 141 pending homicide cases currently going through the court system.  Of those, 112 cases are first-degree murder charges, with most occurring in 2012 and 2013.

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