Suspect in a double homicide in Cherokee County appears in court - NewsOn6.com - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - KOTV.com |

Suspect in a double homicide in Cherokee County appears in court

Updated:
New developments into a double homicide in Cherokee County. It happened in the small town of Welling, which is just outside Tahlequah early Tuesday morning.

Investigators say the names of the elderly couple shot to death were on a hit list compiled by the alleged killer. 21-year-old Johnny Potts faces two counts of first degree murder in the deaths of Junior and Elsie Ryals.

Documents show Potts confessed to a 911 operator that he shot Mr. Ryals, and he turned a gun over to authorities. A second gun has been recovered. Officials believe it was the one used in the murders. Cherokee County DA Richard Gray: "This is a violent act. This is about the worse crime there can be. We're talking about two elderly, defenseless people, a man and wife who haven't hurt anyone in their entire lives as far as we know, and basically, they're brutally gunned down."

Prosecutors say they should know more about a motive soon. Potts is being held without bond in the Cherokee County jail.

Potts' next court appearance is late next month. Prosecutors say they'll wait until then to decide whether to ask for the death penalty.
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