Fairmont Terrace: Court Hearings Continue One Year After Shootings
Court proceedings resumed Tuesday afternoon for two brothers accused of fatally shooting four woman at a south Tulsa apartment complex.
Each side in the court case appeared before a Tulsa judge. Cedric and James Poore have been in and out of court since early last year after the shootings take place at Fairmont Terrace.
During the court hearing the judge heard arguments on whether to disqualify the public defender's officer from representing key witnesses involved in the case. A concern Cedric's attorney, Kirsten Bernhardt, stated was that witnesses with the same legal representation could feel swayed to give similar accounts of what happened.
"The point of defense motions is that we want witness testimony that's clear and clean, whose cross representation doesn't result in testimony that is coordinated," Bernhardt said.
Chief Public Defender Jack Zanerhaft said his office represents two material witnesses, including Jamilla Jones. She is the former girlfriend of defendant James Poore. He was staying at her apartment when the murders happened. Previous preliminary hearing testimony alleged that she was angry about something the day of the murders.
After hearing the arguments the judge told the courtroom he would put together an order to clarify who a public defender can represent when it comes to witnesses. He said he would aim to have that order available by January 24th.
The mother of twin victims, Rebeika Powell and Kayetie Melchor, visited Fairmont Terrace Tuesday to mark the year that has passed since their murders. She brought a wreath for each of them in their favorite colors.
"I know they're in a better place," Powell said. She hopes to see more security and changes in the 61st and Peoria area.
Some city councilors have launched a 61st and Peoria Task Force with Tulsa Police and the public.
District Two City Councilor Jeannie Cue said there has already been progress in the area. She said crime is down.
"To decrease crime and make the quality of life better, you have to have the people that live in the area tell you their concerns," Cue said.
The task force has helped launch a community garden at Fairmont Terrace and encouraged the installation of a maternity and children's clinic within walking distance. She said the task force is working with experts to increase safety for pedestrians and traffic in the area.
There is another task force ideas meeting scheduled for January 13th at 6 p.m. at Spirit of Life Church. The public is encouraged to attend. She said after that meeting, there will be more focus on implementing the ideas in the area.
Both brothers have pleaded not guilty during previous court appearances. They are being represented by different attorneys.
Previous reports from KTUL state Tulsa Police were called out to the apartment complex near 61st and Peoria and discovered 23-year-old twins Rebeika Powell and Kayetie Melchor, 33-year-old Misty Nunley and 55-year-old Julie Jackson had all been shot and killed.
Prosecutors allege the brothers robbed the women and then shot them out of fear of being recognized. Channel 8 was there Tuesday morning when family members of the women killed placed wreaths in their memory alongside the fence outside Fairmont Terrace.