Two Tulsa Teens Arrested In Fatal Shooting Released

Wednesday, October 14th 2009, 6:29 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Two teenage suspects arrested for accessory after the murder of a 16-year-old Memorial High School student last month have been released from the Tulsa County jail.

The Tulsa County District Attorney says there's not enough evidence to charge them.

Tulsa Police arrested 16-year-old cousins Marco and Quan Ratliff.

Officers believe Marco drove the vehicle from which the fatal shots were fired and say they caught Quan hiding a gun.

However, both are now free.

16-year-old Jacob Barnes was shot and killed on September 25th, after getting off a school bus and talking with several people in what witnesses said was possibly a gold Suburban.

Police say the investigation led them to Marco Ratliff, who matched the description of the driver and whose mother owns a gold Suburban.

Tulsa Police say a witness told them Marco admitted driving the vehicle when someone in the back seat shot and killed Barnes.

The witness told them Marco's cousin Quan was riding in the front seat at the time. That led police to get search warrants for his home.

While watching the house, police say Quan walked out with a plastic bag that he hid under bushes in the backyard. Inside the sack, police found a .357 magnum revolver. Witnesses say a revolver was used in the murder.

Both Marco and Quan Ratliff were booked for accessory to murder.

10/02/2009  Related Story: Two Tulsa Teens Arrested In Fatal Shooting

The DA says there's more to this case than just those facts and declined to file charges.

"This case is far from complete. This initial decline is based on information that exists at the time. I consider it a pending, ongoing investigation," said Bill Musseman, Tulsa County Assistant DA.

Police say they stand by their arrest and are frustrated to be back at square one and are also worried about future violence. But they say their focus is now about looking ahead.

"We're not going to gripe about it or say we wish it was different, just going to go forward and work on proving this thing," said Sgt. Mike Huff, Tulsa Police Major Crimes.

Both say what they need now more than ever is information, which people can text in to Crime Stoppers or call the hotline at 596-COPS.

The Ratliff cousins went to Tulsa's Hale High school.

The News On 6 was told Wednesday by Tulsa Public Schools the two students will not be allowed to return to Hale High School, but beyond that, the school system couldn't comment on any disciplinary action.

10/03/2009  Related Story: Family, Friends Say Goodbye To Murdered Tulsa Student