My feeble attempt to share, mostly by pictures of the people involved, our experience of attending the murder trial of Darren Price.
How did Mickey and I come to get involved in this?
Mickey was able to attend all of the other 8 trial days, except Tuesday the 11th which was King's Kitchen. I missed the 5th, due to a previously scheduled eye appointment and also the 11th, due to working at the voting poll at a special school position election. Scott and Teresa, who only live a few blocks from us, picked us up each and every morning. Others were able to attend on various days: Sean Westley, Gary and Shirley Smith, Gary Russell, and Dale and Dianne Russell from Coweta Assembly and the Pastors of Destiny Church, where the family attended at the time of the murders, Mike & Renae Goolsbay. MANY others - their friends and family in Iowa and other at Coweta Assembly were praying.
We meet the wonderful parents of Carrisa, Susan and Rod; Scott and Teresa's daughter Leeann and son-in-law Shawn (who we had previously met when they came to church), and Teresa's sister, Laura. Most days we had to be at the courthouse by 8:30 or 9:00 although one day it was noon.
On Monday, the 10th, the jury found Darren Price guilty on all 5 counts he was charged with: 2 robberies, 2 murders and alluding the police.
On Tuesday, the 11th, additional information about 2 former convictions were presented and charges filed on them. The jury's verdict was 15 years for alluding the police and 30 years for carrying a gun as a convicted felon.
On Tuesday, the 12th all 4 parents read their impact statements. There were few dry eyes, and soft sobbing in that courtroom. As one TV reporter said, "It was gut wrenching".
The sentencing portion of the trial was finally given to the jury at 2:15 yesterday, February 13th and the verdict came down last night at 8:15 p.m. The DA had asked for a verdict of Death for the death of Carrisa, and a verdict of Life Imprisonment without parole for the death of Ethan. The final jury recommendation was Life without parole for both cases.
Judge William J Musselman, who presided over this case in Court Room #501 set the date for final sentencing on March 27 at 9 a.m.
Darren Price is the defendant in these murders and other charges.
Jerard Davis, the other defendant involved in these robberies and murders, had previously confessed and is currently serving a life sentence without parole.
Carissa Horton, 18, and Ethan Nichols, 21
The victims of the double robbery, execution style murder on September 18, 2011. Carissa was an ORU student from Iowa.
Tulsa District Attorney Tim Harris
Assistant District Attorney Julie Doss
I had never been in a court room in my entire long life. Mickey has served on a jury about 10 years ago. I was totally awed by the wonder of our fabulous judicial system. Watching Attorney's Harris and Doss in action was absolutely amazing to me. Not only were they superb in the courtroom with their presentations and cross examining but they spent time, and shared lunch with us, both when we were awaiting the initial guilty verdicts on the 5 counts and when we were awaiting the sentencing on those verdicts last night. They are both strong Christians and Tim Harris' time with us was spent sharing his views of the trial events and his strong Christian faith. Tim's son, Luke, a recent OU student was also seated with our group in the court room and a pure joy. The 2 assistants assigned to the family: Heather and Lindsey were absolute jewels and made the experience so much easier on the family and all of us.
An aside: Last night as the family were all giving interviews, Heather and Lindsey asked Mickey, "Will you be our grandfather?"
Neither of them had grandfathers and wanted to adopt him!!! I told them they had to also take me as grandmother in the deal.
(Left to right) Teresa, Ethan's Mother and Susan, Carissa's Mother
Scott, Ethan's Dad
Rod, Carissa's Dad
I do not have a picture of Leeann, Ethan's sister, but she was the real star in the capture, her testimony in this trial, and her interaction with both the reporters and the jurors after the verdicts.
The final jury verdict last night, February 13th, at 8:15 p.m - the jurors recommended 2 life sentences without parole, plus 45 years. After the families spent time with reporters and the jury we arrived home at 10:30. Thank you Scott & Teresa for allowing us be with you during this most difficult time.
The entire details and story of these murders, and all the evidence that came out in this trial, are amazing but they are Teresa and Scott's story to share with everyone. I know they will and are anxious to do so.