Death penalty off table for triple murder suspect

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

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OKEMAH, Okla. (AP) — A man accused of fatally shooting two Oklahoma girls then killing his fiancee no longer faces the death penalty after he agreed to waive his right to a jury trial.

Kevin Sweat is charged with three counts of first-degree murder. He's accused in the 2008 deaths of 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker and 13-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker in Weleetka, and the 2011 slaying of his fiancee, Ashley Taylor.

Defense attorney Peter Astor tells the Tulsa World that Sweat on Thursday waived his right to a jury trial in exchange for prosecutors not seeking the death penalty.

A judge will determine his fate at an Aug. 4 trial.

If Sweat is convicted of first-degree murder, he faces life in prison, either with or without the possibility of parole.


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