TULSA, Oklahoma — Evidence obtained through a search warrant in the 2013 shooting deaths of four women in Tulsa should be tossed because the affidavit supporting it was too general and short on specifics, attorneys for one of two brothers charged with the killings claimed Monday in a court filing.
The document was one of several filed Monday in district court on behalf of Cedric Poore, who along with his brother, James Poore, is charged in the deaths of 23-year-old twins Rebeika Powell and Kayetie Melchor, 33-year-old Misty Nunley and 55-year-old Julie Jackson.
Prosecutors allege the brothers robbed the women, then shot them out of fear of being recognized. All four victims had their hands tied behind their backs with blue or pink fabric and gunshots to the head. The January 2013 shootings happened in midday in a troubled part of south Tulsa that has been plagued by blight and crime.
Both brothers have pleaded not guilty and are being represented by separate attorneys, who have argued for months that the state has built a flimsy case against the men based on unreliable witnesses who admittedly used drugs and cut deals with prosecutors.
One of Monday's filings deals with shell casings from a .40-caliber pistol recovered at a house owned by a relative of Cedric Poore's. The affidavit requesting a search warrant stated that witnesses told investigators that "the suspects used a .40-caliber pistol to shoot the victims," according to the court filing. The legal filing then states that witnesses told investigators that the suspects "shot the same pistol with James Poore on New Year's Eve night in the backyard" of the relative's house.
"Simply put, the affidavit is long on irrelevant generalities and short on specific allegations attributed to reliable sources," Monday's filing states.
Because of the vagueness of the affidavit, "the evidence presented by the state at the preliminary (hearing) was untrustworthy and insufficient to hold Cedric Poore for trial," Cedric Poore's attorney, John Echols, said in an email Monday.
But Tulsa County First Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond suggested the filings by the defense were typical.
"It is common for defense attorneys to file such motions and attack the credibility of witnesses," Drummond said in a statement Monday. "Once we file our responses, it will be up to the judge to objectively decide whether there is any legal merit to these arguments," he said.