Judge orders teens to stand trial as adults in death of grocery store clerk

Wednesday, December 12th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A Tulsa County judge ordered two teen-agers on Tuesday to stand trial as adults on first-degree murder counts in the fatal shooting of a grocery store clerk.

Attorneys for Tommie Lee Price, 17, and Khalil Abbus, 18, had sought to have their clients certified as juveniles or ``youthful offenders'' because both were underage at the time of the July 31 slaying of Jon Chadwick.

Police testified that the five defendants in the case, including Price, allegedly admitted that Price pulled the trigger in Chadwick's shooting death. They also allegedly admitted that Abbus encouraged Price to shoot Chadwick, 36.

``Mr. Price has one of the most extensive criminal records I've ever come across,'' Eric Jordan, assistant district attorney, told Tulsa County Special Judge Clancy Smith. Jordan listed burglary, larceny, malicious injury to property and concealing stolen property among the offenses.

``He's had multiple times to prove he can be rehabilitated, and he's failed to do that.''

As for Abbus, who also has a criminal record, the juvenile court system would only be able to have him until he turns 19, which is in less than a year, Jordan said.

``For a murder, that's inappropriate.''

The two are scheduled to appear Monday before District Judge Tom Gillert, but a trial date may not be set if their attorneys appeal Smith's ruling.

Tony Lee Williams Jr., 18, and Nicholas Delano Winford, 23, are facing second-degree murder charges at trial, while 19-year-old Rex Thomas Chancellor waived his right to a preliminary hearing on a first-degree manslaughter charge and will testify for the prosecution in the case. Chancellor is free on bail.

Chadwick was shot once in the head when he pursued a group of shoplifters into a dark alley behind Albertson's after they were seen carrying cases of beer from the store.