Kevin Sweat Pleads Guilty To Murders Of Weleetka Girls, Fiancee
Thursday, July 31st 2014, 2:33 pm
By: News On 6
A man charged with murdering two Weleetka girls in 2008 and his fiancee in 2011 pleaded guilty on Thursday.
Sweat entered a blind plea to three counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his fiancée Ashley Taylor, as well as Skyla Whitaker, 11, and Taylor Placker, 13.
Prosecutors said Sweat killed Whitaker and Placker as they were walking down a dirt road in rural Okfuskee County in 2008. In 2011, Taylor was murdered and her remains were found in Okmulgee County.
Earlier in the day, family members of victims told News On 6 they had been called to the courthouse Thursday afternoon because Sweat was expected to enter a plea in the three murders.
Sweat's attorney presented the court Thursday afternoon with a uniform plea of guilty, in which Sweat said he understood the charges against him and that he was making a blind plea. His attorney noted on the form that mitigating evidence will be presented at sentencing.
Kevin Sweat's Statement
The attorney also noted that Sweat was promised that he would get to talk to the FBI.
In a handwritten note to the court, Sweat said, "I would stipulate that I made statements to Kurt Titsworth on August 3, 2011 and September 13, 2011 where I said that I killed Ashley Taylor, Skyla Whitaker, and Taylor Placker. I stipulate that those statements, the preliminary hearing testimony and the witnesses and exhibits endorsed by the state prove guilt."
Sweat's trial was scheduled to begin on Monday. He had waived his right to a jury trial.
His plea in the murders comes on the heels of new documents filed in the case on Tuesday.
The state’s initial witness and exhibition list details three people set to testify in the trial. Prosecutors said their testimony would include allegations that Sweat may have been motivated to kill the girls in retaliation for his brother Brian’s drug-related death in 2007.
The document says prosecutors expected to call Amanda Hamm, Alicia Arsee and Christopher Placker.
The state says Hamm and Arsee were willing to testify that during the time they were a co-workers of Sweat’s at a Subway sandwich shop, he told them he didn’t like the Placker family and the Plackers had been supplying Sweat’s brother with drugs before his death. According to prosecutors, Hamm would have testified that Sweat didn’t feel like his brother’s death was a suicide or accident, and the Placker family sold him bad drugs that killed him.
Placker would have testified that during 2007, he was living in Weleetka near his parents and was selling $150-$250 in drugs per day, the document says. Prosecutors expect Placker’s testimony to include details that he was selling drugs to Brian and Eric Sweat, Kevin Sweat's brothers.
At a hearing last year in which a judge bound over Sweat for trial, prosecutors played a videotaped interview with investigators. In it, Sweat told an OS BI agent: "If I was there, I sure as hell don't remember," then adding, "I'm not going to confess to something I didn't do."
1/29/2013: Related Story: Kevin Sweat Will Stand Trial In Deaths Of Weleetka Girls
Investigators said they interviewed every violent criminal in the region for three years after the bodies of the two little girls were found, but they couldn't connect anyone to the crime. When Sweat's fiancée was killed, her body found dumped on a burn pile on property owned by Sweat's father in Okmulgee County, it reignited the investigation.
Taylor's family told News On 6 in 2011 that when they questioned Sweat about Ashley's disappearance, his response raised eyebrows.
"His response was, ‘I suppose I'm going to get blamed for this like I did the Weleetka girls,'" said Mike Taylor, Ashley's stepfather. "Past memories that he told me, led me to believe that he killed those girls."