Trial Begins For Tulsa Man Charged In Hicks Park Murders
TULSA, Oklahoma - Attorneys gave their opening statements in the murder trial of Darren Price Tuesday afternoon and prosecutors called their first witness.
Price is charged with robbing and murdering Ethan Nichols and Carissa Horton while they were taking a walk in Hicks Park in September of 2011.
The case can rip your heart out; a couple of small town kids move to Tulsa, fall in love, then, are gunned down while on their knees.
Then, the suspects send text messages to the family the next day, pretending to be the victims, alive and well.
Prosecutors told the jury the evidence they will see tells a story of a young couple from the same small town in Iowa; a man who worked at Blue Bell, and his girlfriend, who was just starting her freshman year at ORU.
They said the couple went for a walk on a warm Sunday night, but, had no idea two other people were in the park that night with a gun.
Prosecutors said Darren Price and Jerard Davis forced Nichols and Horton off the walking path at gunpoint, forced them to their knees in the grass and robbed them.
They said Jerard Davis shot Ethan in the head, execution style, and then Price took the gun and shot Carissa the same way.
Price was arrested the following day. Prosecutors said he was driving Ethan's car and carrying Ethan's cell phone and had Carissa's cell phone in the car.
But, Price's attorneys said he was at the park and he was with Davis, but it was Davis who had the gun, robbed the couple and shot them both.
Defense attorneys said it was the information Price gave to the police that led them to Davis and, eventually, the murder weapon.
They told the jury Price made some shameful decisions after the murder, and they admitted he was guilty of running from police and driving the victim's car, but that he was not guilty of robbery or murder.
Price's attorneys asked the jury to only convict him of what he did, not what prosecutors speculate he did.
The other suspect in the case, Jerard Davis, already pleaded guilty to the crime and got life in prison without parole.
If Price is convicted in the case, he could face the death penalty.