Jury Convicts Man In Tulsa's Fairmont Terrace Quadruple Murder
TULSA, Oklahoma - A jury convicted a man Monday of murdering four women at the Fairmont Terrace Apartments in January of 2013.
It took the jury about an hour to convict James Poore, 36. The jury found him guilty of four counts of murder and two counts of robbery with a firearm.
The same jury recommended life without parole and a $20,000 fine.
Prosecutors say the bodies were discovered after a woman found a 3-year-old boy wandering in the complex on January 7, 2013. The woman took him to his apartment because it was cold outside. When the boy let her inside, she saw four women shot in the head with their hands tied behind their backs.
The little boy's mother, Rebeika Powell, was one of the murder victims. Rebeika lived in the apartment with her twin sister, Kayetie Melchor, 23. Their friend, Misty Nunley, 33, was staying at the apartment. The fourth victim, Julie Jackson, 55, was visiting that day.
It's that day Clifford West and Sheila Stretch, Jackson's relatives, say they lost everything. They said they are glad justice was served.
"We will never have our sister back, but we will have peace from these people, and I thank God for that," they said.
Prosecutors said three of the women were found on a bed and Rebeika was found lying underneath. The district attorney said James and Cedric Poore robbed the women of $300 and other property and that James shot them because one of them said his name.
During the trial the defense claimed the killings were the work of a drug cartel. Defense attorneys also called a witnessed who criticized the work of Tulsa Police in the case. They also pointed out the murder weapon was never found.
Poore looked calm and stoic all day - throughout closing statements, as the verdicts were read, and during his sentence recommendations.
His attorney, Wes Johnson, said both sides did their best and he accepts the outcome.
"That's the system we live in and we live by it. And I live by it, and have for my whole career, so that's all I have to say," Johnson said.
Prosecutors countered by saying DNA found on a cigarette butt in the apartment matched James Poore. They said shell casings found at the murder scene matched casings found at James Poore's mother's house and at the scene of a robbery and shooting two days before the quadruple murder. Prosecutors said the victim in that case picked James Poore out of lineup as the perpetrator.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said, "This jury is clearly trying to do something to send a message to him - that he's never going to get out of prison."
James Poore's brother Cedric, 42, is also charged in the murders. The judge said once James' trial concluded Cedric's trial would begin.
Soon after reaching the verdict, the jury began deliberating the sentence and returned its recommendation at about 5:30 p.m. The judge will sentence Poore on May 2, 2016.