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Trial For Man Accused Of Killing Weleetka Girls Set For Next Month

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Kevin Sweat is pictured Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at the Okfuskee County courthouse. Kevin Sweat is pictured Wednesday, July 9, 2014, at the Okfuskee County courthouse.
Gretchen Mosley of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System. Gretchen Mosley of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System.
The families of Skyla Whitaker, Taylor Paschal and Ashley Taylor will see the man accused of murdering their daughters stand trial, but a jury will not hear how the Weleetka girls or Sweat's fiancé died. The families of Skyla Whitaker, Taylor Paschal and Ashley Taylor will see the man accused of murdering their daughters stand trial, but a jury will not hear how the Weleetka girls or Sweat's fiancé died.
OKFUSKEE COUNTY, Oklahoma - Murder suspect Kevin Sweat was back in an Okfuskee County courthouse Wednesday for a status hearing.

Sweat is charged with killing two Weleetka girls in 2008. Skyla Whitaker, 11, and 13-year-old Taylor Paschal were shot to death while walking on a dirt road less than 1,000 feet from Paschal's home. Sweat is also charged with the 2011 murder of his girlfriend, AshleyTaylor, 23.

Sweat waived his right to a jury trail which removed the death penalty from the case. A judge will now decide his punishment.

7/3/2014 Related Story: Man Suspected Of Killing Weleetka Girls, Fiancee Won't Have Jury Trial

Gretchen Mosley, Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, is Sweat's attorney. She said the state agreed to dismiss the death penalty option in the three charges of first degree murder in return for Sweat's agreement to have his guilt or innocence decided by a judge.

"Mr. Sweat has the obvious benefit of not facing the death penalty in the event that the state succeeds in their prosecution," she said. "We wanted to basically eliminate that risk for him while still advocating his innocence."

Court documents detail the evidence against Sweat. During an argument with ex-girlfriend Makia Cook, "Sweat reached under the seat of his vehicle and pulled out a black semi-automatic handgun that he pointed at Ms. Cook," according to the documents.

He then “told Ms. Cook that if she ended their relationship he would kill her and her family," the documents say.

Prosecutors will tell the judge that Cook moved away, "in an effort to get away from Kevin."

Court papers say his new girlfriend, Ashley Taylor, threatened to tell authorities that he had killed Taylor Paschal and Skyla Whitaker if he ever left her.

Sweat’s attorneys asked Judge Lawrence Parish to recuse himself, but he refused. The trial is set for August 4th.

The prosecuting attorney present in court Wednesday declined to speak on camera but said the state is ready for trial.

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