Man accused of hitting brothers wears protective gear to court appearance

Tuesday, November 30th 2004, 5:49 am
By: News On 6

GUTHRIE, Okla. (AP) _ Logan County authorities had a Luther man accused of running over two brothers wear a bulletproof vest during his initial court appearance.

Sheriff Randy Richardson said Monday that Kevin Ray Beplate was put in the protective gear because of the interest in his case and the large number of people attending the hearing.

``We heard there were some angry family members, so we were just taking precautions,'' Richardson said.

Prosecutors charged Beplate, 23, Monday with two counts of first-degree manslaughter and driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs, causing great bodily injury.

A car matching the description of Beplate's vehicle was seen weaving across the northbound lanes of Interstate 35 late Friday, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol said.

At the same time, Matthew McNutt, 22, of Guthrie, and LaCrosse, Kan., residents Krystopher M. Abrahms, 15, and Kyle E. Lafferty, 14, were walking north on I-35 after their vehicle got a flat tire, the patrol said.

By the time officers found the weaving car, it had hit three people, troopers said.

The collision killed Abrahms and Lafferty. McNutt was treated for leg injuries at Logan Hospital and Medical Center and released.

Beplate was being held Monday in the Logan County jail in lieu of $227,500 bail.