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Tulsa Man Will Stand Trial For Murder Of His Teen Neighbor

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Gregory Epperson Gregory Epperson
TULSA, Oklahoma -

A judge ruled Tuesday that a Tulsa man must stand trial for the murder of a 19-year-old woman who was killed in her own apartment. 

Kelsey Tennant came home for a quick lunch break on March 20, 2017, but she never left her apartment again.

Gregory Epperson, who lived next door, was charged with first-degree murder and assault and battery with intent to kill.

Tuesday was his first court appearance in front of Tennant's friends and family.

3/21/2017 Related Story: Tulsa Teen Dies After Being Attacked In Her Apartment

Tennant's boyfriend, Kevin Allen, lived with her and he testified Tuesday at the hearing. 

The prosecution also called Gregory Epperson's close friend and roommate, Rhonda Thompson, to the stand.

Allen and Thompson both recalled the day when they discovered Kelsey Tennant dead in her apartment.

Allen said as soon as he walked into their apartment, Epperson attacked him from behind, punching him in the face and putting him into a chokehold.

Allen said Epperson was saying things like, "Go down easy" and "don't fight."

After wrestling free twice, Allen ran outside to find help, where he ran into Thompson, who was his next door neighbor.

Allen told her to go inside and get her friend under control. 

When Thompson came back out several minutes later, she was shaking her head, crying, saying, "she's not okay."

Allen went inside and to his upstairs bedroom, where he found his girlfriend lying facedown on the ground.

He said she was as blue as "the color of the Oklahoma state flag."

Allen attempted CPR, but Tennant died of strangulation.

At some point, the witnesses said Epperson left the apartment.

Thompson and Allen say they didn't see him again until police arrested him in Thompson's apartment later that day.

Epperson is due back in court for arraignment on July 6. 

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