Trial Begins In Marietta Double Murder Case - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Trial Begins In Marietta Double Murder Case

MARIETTA, Okla. (AP) _ A murder trial has begun for a 28-year-old man accused in the stabbing deaths of an elderly couple.

Maurice Ladon Miller, 28, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the stabbing deaths of James Walker West, 76, and his wife, Lena Belle, 78.

District Attorney Craig Ladd told jurors Monday that the double murder was a ``horrific slaughter.''

Defense attorney Diane Box objected to that characterization of the crime. Ladd said robbery was the motive and said Miller and his alleged accomplice, Billy Wayne Henderson, had motive, means and opportunity to kill the West couple.

Henderson later died of a brain infection.

Ladd said the killers climbed through an open kitchen window and attacked the husband and wife, who slept in separate bedrooms.

Box asked jurors to pay close attention to the evidence _ particularly who the hair samples belonged to. She suggested other suspects, such as a drug dealer that her client and Henderson had seen the night of the murders.

Box also told jurors the prosecution's witness, Tina Marie Mosley, had been convicted of seven felonies and would say and do anything to get out of trouble.

Prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty in this case. Jurors also will not likely learn that Miller has since been sentenced to life in prison in June 2005 for murder and related charges in the 1996 shooting death of Cecil White, 65, at Charles' Steak House in Oklahoma City.
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