Jury Selection Begins In Two High Profile Tulsa County Trials


Monday, August 20th 2012, 7:49 am
By: News On 6


Two high profile trials are scheduled to begin Monday in Tulsa County District Court, including one in the murder of Tulsa businessman Neal Sweeney.

Jury selection in the trials of both Terrico Bethel and Robert Yerton began at about 3:15 p.m. Monday.

Bethel is charged with first degree murder in the 2008 September death of Sweeney at his east Tulsa business.

Bethel's trial was set to begin in mid-June, but an illness on Bethel's defense team delayed his trial until now. 

6/18/2012 Related Story: Attorneys Choose Jury In Tulsa Businessman's Murder Trial

The trial also began for a former assistant principal at Skelly Elementary school. Robert Yerton is facing two counts of child sex abuse and three counts of lewd molestation.

Prosecutors say several boys accused Yerton of touching them inappropriately on school grounds.

Editor's note: We initially reported Fred Shields' trial was beginning Monday.  Court records showed trials for Fred Shields and Alonzo Johnson, also charged in the case, were set to begin Monday, but the DA's office now says only Bethel's trial is starting Monday.

2/21/2011 Related Story: Civil Suit Filed Against TPS Administrator Accused Of Molestation

Another trial that was set to begin Monday was for 20-year old Amber Hilberling. She is charged with second degree murder, accused of pushing her husband out the window of their 25th floor apartment at the University Club tower.

Last week, a judge reset her trial to begin March 11, 2013.  

1/6/2012 Related Story: Tulsa County Judge Sends Amber Hilberling Back To Jail