Jury selection is set to begin Monday in Canadian County’s first death penalty case in more than a quarter century.
The jury will hear the case of Derek Don Posey, who is charged with four counts of first-degree murder in the 2013 death of Calumet resident Amy Gibbins and her son, Bryor.
Their bodies were found by firefighters responding to a call about a structure fire.
Gibbons died of blunt force trauma. Bryor died as a result of the house fire.
Authorities also claim that Gibbins, who was 22, also had been sexually assaulted.
Officials have said that more than 500 Canadian County residents have received summons to appear as potential jurors for the trial, which could last up to six weeks.
Monday, Posey and his attorneys argued that DNA evidence that was obtained in a prior trial in which he was acquitted should not be admitted.
Associate District Judge Bob Hughey had previously ruled it was admissible.
Posey’s attorney argued that admitting the evidence could taint the jurors’ perception of their client. He was acquitted in a Tulsa County sexual assault and burglary case in which the evidence was presented.
In addition, an expert testified that a mistake was made in some of the original DNA testing that was conducted in the previous trial.
Posey, who was working in the oil-field industry at the time of the crime, also is accused of taking Gibbins’s credit card.
His defense claims that their client did not commit the crime.
Hughey had not issued his ruling as of press time.
Posey’s murder case is the first case in which a jury may consider the death penalty since Michael Edward Hooper was convicted in July 1995 of first-degree murder in the deaths of his ex-girlfriend and her two children.
Hooper was found guilty of all three counts.
He died by lethal injection on Aug. 14, 2012.
The district attorney had planned to seek the death penalty against Joshua Steven Drucho in the 2009 deaths of his girlfriend and her four children.
However, Durcho accepted a plea just days before his trial was to begin. He received a life sentence without the possibility of parole.