Prosecutors to seek death penalty in Glenpool double homicide

Friday, October 19th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

(TULSA) - Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty for two men accused of murdering a Glenpool couple and setting their house on fire.

The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office said Thursday that Michael Allen Browning, 26, and Joel Shane Pethel, 25, will go on trial Jan. 7. The two men are accused of seven felonies linked to a Feb. 18 triple shooting and arson.

Harry and Teresa Hye were shot to death. Their niece survived a gunshot wound.

A lawyer representing their relatives said the family supports death sentences for Browning and Pethel.

Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond alleged in court documents that Browning and Pethel committed murders that were ``especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.''

Investigators said Harry Hye, his wife, Teresa Hye, and their niece Cenessa Tackett were shot during a robbery at their home. Teresa Hye, 42, died at the scene. Harry Hye, 64, died March 12 in a hospital.

Tackett, who was pregnant with Browning's child when she was shot, later had a healthy son.

Browning and Pethel waived their rights to preliminary hearings in July after the victims' relatives said they would support a life without parole plea agreement. The family did ``not want to suffer the time and trauma'' of hearings or trials.

Lawyers for the defendants said their clients were willing to be sentenced to life without parole.

But prosecutors never offered plea agreements to the defendants.