Tulsa Attorney For Man Accused Of Murder Wants 'First 48' Video

Friday, March 27th 2015, 11:14 pm
By: News On 6

A Tulsa man who appeared on The First 48 is getting closer to a trial date.

Isaac Ashton is facing murder charges. He's accused of shooting and killing two people at a midtown apartment complex last summer.

His attorney said he's trying to get footage from the reality TV show crime series to help their defense.

It's one of the first cases this year that involves one of the suspects being featured on the A&E crime show, now attorneys hope to use the show as evidence in trial.

The First 48 has spent more than six months in Tulsa shooting episodes and following investigators with the Tulsa Police Department's Homicide Division.

1/5/2015 Related Story: Tulsa Police Debut On 'The First 48' This Week

One of the cases was the tracking of Isaac Ashton.

Ashton was charged in connection with the shooting deaths of Verdell Walker and Tiara Sawyer last August.

8/18/2014 Related Story: Police Arrest Man In Midtown Tulsa Shooting Death

At Friday's discovery hearing, Ashton's attorney, Stanley Monroe, wanted to know what happened seven months ago when film crews shot the episode revolving around the investigation.

"We were unaware until we saw the program airing on television that The First 48 even picked this story up," Monroe said.

He said he's looking for contracts between A&E and the Tulsa Police Department. Monroe said prosecutors told him the raw video from the episode doesn't exist anymore.

"Our client is clearly depicted in film, he was not aware of it, we were not aware of it, so we at least just want to know what they have," Monroe said.

Assistant District Attorney John David Luton said cases like these – where defendants appear in news stories or cable programs - can complicate criminal cases.

“We've run into this before. I think this is going to be a continuing issue because of the popularity of these types of programs. It is a conflict, a First Amendment issue versus the defendant's rights to a fair trial," Luton said.

Monroe said, "We obviously believe that there's another side to this story. The state put forth their evidence at the preliminary hearing. We have a completely different story to tell at trial.”

Prosecutors and defense have a copy of the aired episode and that is expected to be used as evidence in Ashton's trial.