Opening Statements Given In Tulsa Quadruple Murder Trial

Thursday, March 3rd 2016, 7:27 am
By: News On 6

Both sides delivered opening statements in the trial of one of two Tulsa brothers charged with killing four women in an apartment three years ago.

District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler told jurors the amount of evidence prosecutors have against James Poore, 36, is crushing. He says not only did Poore confess his crimes to people in his inner circle, the state has DNA and shell casings that tie Poore to the murders.

James Poore is charged with murdering four women inside the Fairmont Terrace Apartments in Tulsa in the winter of 2013.

Prosecutors say the bodies were found after a 3-year-old boy was wandering around the complex. A woman saw him and took him to his apartment because it was cold outside. But when the boy let her in the apartment, she saw four women, hands tied behind their backs and shot in the head.  

The little boy's mother, Rebeika Powell, was one of the murder victims. Rebeika lived in the apartment with her twin sister, Kayetie Melchor. Their friend, Misty Nunley, was staying at the apartment, and fourth victim, Julie Jackson, was visiting that day.

On Thursday, the district attorney told the jury that the trail of death led right to James Poore and his brother Cedric Poore. The two men are being tried separately.

According to the DA, three of the women were found on top of a bed, and Rebeika was found lying under the bed.

James Poore's attorney said no one claimed he had confessed until a month after the murders, so they had time to concoct their stories. He says James Poore's DNA could've been at the murder scene for months because he'd dated one of the victims.

The defense attorney also dismissed the idea of the shell casings since no murder weapon was found.

He said police first investigated a man who sold drugs to two of the victims and they owed this man $1,900. He says that man was in the cartel and the murders were committed to send a message.

The first witnesses called in the trial all have been police officers who are walking the jury through the crime scene with the photos and videos they took that day.

An interesting witness that should testify soon is James Poore's girlfriend.

The DA told the jury he had to give her immunity to get her to come in and testify and even told the jury they wouldn't like her very much, but said James Poore confessed to her.

At one point in the day, James Poore told the judge he wanted to fire his attorney.

The judge was able to convince him not to do so, and testimony will continue on Friday.

/1/2016 Related Story: Jury Selection Continues In Quadruple Tulsa Murder Trial

Police say four women were tied up and killed execution-style at the Fairmont Terrace Apartments near 61st and Peoria in January of 2013. The victims were twin sisters Rebeika Powell and Kayetie Powell-Melchor, 23; Misty Nunley, 33, and 55-year-old Julie Jackson. Each was shot in the head.  

James Poore's attorney told the jurors police did not consider his client a suspect until a month after the murder.

He told the jury the murders were a cartel hit done to send a message. He said Tulsa Police had a cartel member as a person of interest in the case and that person was selling drugs at the Fairmont Terrace Apartments.  

He said two of the victims were involved in that drug trade and owed the cartel member money.

James and his brother Cedric Poore, 42, were both been charged with the murders. Once James' trial is finished, a judge says Cedric's trial will start.