Fairmont Terrace: Hearing Resumes, Former Girlfriend Returns to Stand
A hearing continued for two brothers Tuesday morning accused of shooting four women to death at a south Tulsa apartment complex.
Cedric and James Poore once again appeared before a Tulsa district court. Jamila Jones, ex-girlfriend of James, also returned to court where defense lawyers questioned her reliability.
John Echols, lawyer for Cedric, spent the morning asking Jones why she did not testify to authorities in February that she saw Cedric carrying a gun on his hip the day of the murders. He also asked whether she has changed her story during interviews with police and whether she was addicted to drugs. Jones testified that James Poore had been selling drugs a few months before the murders.
The defense questioned Jones about the shooting victim, Rebeika Powell's, food stamp card. Records indicate a balance inquiry on the afternoon of the killings. Lawyers said phone records show that inquiry came from Jones's phone. She responded, "I don't remember doing that."
Next, the state called Shalee Owens, 21, to the stand. She is a friend of Jones and was staying at Jones' Fairmont Terrace apartment from January 3rd until the day after the murders.
Owens testified that Jamila was upset the day of the murders because Powell had allegedly accused her of stealing something. She told prosecutors James told her not to worry about it. However, prosecutor Doug Drummond said she allegedly testified to a grand jury that James suggested he was going to rob them.
Owens testified that James made a phone call. Then, she said the man she thought was Cedric, but knew as "gangsta," came over. She said as they left the apartment, James allegedly said, "nobody in, nobody out."
Cedric Poore's legal team questioned whether or not Owens could have placed Cedric at the apartment, because she was in a room separated from the entry by a wall. She said she did not know his name was Cedric until seeing him on the news.
Both brothers have pleaded not guilty to killing 23-year-old twins Rebeika Powell and Kayetie Melchor, 33-year-old Misty Nunley and 55-year-old Julie Jackson. The four were found tied up and shot in the head in January.
On Monday state prosecutors brought forward Jones, who had been dating James at the time and was Powell's friend. Jones told the courtroom she heard James wanted to know about "hitting a lick," meaning a possible robbery on the day of the killings.
Jones said Powell came over on January 7th, the day of the killings, to borrow a charged cell phone battery. The two women shared them. She said she went over to Powell's apartment after that for a cigarette. She said while she was there, she went in a backroom of Powell's apartment and saw drugs (namely "ice"), money and jewelry. She said Powell accused her of stealing something, which she denied. At that point, she called James and told him about the items she saw in the apartment.
She said Cedric came over that day. Both he and James allegedly left the apartment and returned with a backpack containing drugs, money, and jewelry. She said the backpack also contained Powell's food stamp card. She said she threw it away. Jones also added that Cedric had a gun at his hip.
Jones said James told her "he had to do it."
Authorities believe the brothers robbed the women at the apartment complex, then killed them because they feared they would be identified. Defense attorneys for both men claim the evidence gathered in the case points to other suspects.
Jones added in her testimony that in a previous interview with police she lied to protect her safety. The defense spent the afternoon questioning whom Jones had discussed her testimony with. Cedric Poore's attorney, John Echols, questioned Jones' memory and ability to recall events.
The state will call its next witness Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.
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