Five witnesses gave their testimonies April 2 during a preliminary hearing regarding the death of Marissa Murrow, 19, of Mustang.
Malcolm Penney, 40, of Oklahoma City was charged Oct. 21, 2020 with second-degree murder and leaving the scene of a fatality accident.
Local teacher Rachel Thomas was the first to testify.
Around midnight Oct. 3, 2020, she and her husband were driving southbound on the John Kilpatrick Turnpike when they observed two vehicles facing the opposite direction of traffic in the southbound lanes. The two arrived at the scene shortly after Penney’s Mitsubishi Outlander collided head on with Murrow’s Ford Focus. After pulling over, her husband called 911. Thomas said Penney approached Murrow’s vehicle, asking if she was OK.
When he tried to open her door, Thomas’ husband told him to go sit down. After sitting for a moment, Penney began walking away, she said.
Thomas later lost sight of him. However, she saw him again when police brought him back to the scene of the crash.
Thomas identified Penney in the courtroom. Penney’s defense attorney asked Thomas if she saw any construction or detour signs around the turnpike’s on-ramp, near SW 15th Street. She said she did not.
Thomas told Eric Epplin, Canadian County Assistant District Attorney, that she is familiar with the area, as the school she teaches at is nearby.
The second witness was Oklahoma City police officer Chase McMillen, who transported Penney back to the crash site to release him into Oklahoma Highway Patrol custody after locating him. McMillen said he found Penney about half a mile from the collision.
Penney was unsteady on his feet and had an alcoholic odor on his breath and person, as well as bloodshot eyes, he said. McMillen identified Penney in the courtroom.
During the cross-examination, McMillen told the attorney he did not remember any construction site signs near the turnpike.
The third witness was OHP trooper Lisa Jorgensen, who is a drug recognition expert.
She said she noticed an open container of beer inside Penney’s vehicle while on scene.
Jorgensen also noted Penney had trouble staying awake. Based on Penney’s condition and him denying a blood sample, she said she did not conduct a DRE test, as results would not have been realistic.
While at Integris Canadian Valley Hospital, Jorgensen said Penney continued to ask about Murrow.
Once a search warrant was received, Jorgensen remained at the hospital for a nurse to draw Penney’s blood.
Because OHP does not have an evidence locker that is open 24/7, Jorgensen said she stored the blood kit at her home. She also noted she did not recall any construction signs near the collision.
Jorgensen identified Penney in the courtroom.
The fourth witness was OHP trooper Wayne Linzy, who took photos of the crash. His investigation found that Penney was traveling the wrong way.
Linzy also said there were alcoholic containers inside Penney’s vehicle.
The final witness was OHP trooper Mathew Conway, who spoke with Penney at the jail Oct. 6, 2020. Conway said the purpose of the interview was to get Penney’s take on what happened the day of the crash.
Penney told Conway that he blacked out on his way home from a wedding. He also told Conway that he began drinking around 1:30 p.m. at the wedding in Edmond.
He consumed a six pack, other alcohol during the wedding, as well as vodka after, Conway said of the interview. Regarding the collision, Penney told him he believed he was walking outside of his body.
He also said he had to have been drunk and was unsure as to why he did not give his keys up. Penney had a blood alcohol content of 0.169.
His record also shows he was convicted of driving under the influence in 2012.
When Epplin asked if the defendant showed signs of remorse in the interview, Conway said Penney told him that “he had taken their baby from their family,” and that it was his fault.
Conway identified Penney in the courtroom.
The court found probable cause that Penney committed the crimes presented. He is bound for trial.
District court arraignment will be at 9 a.m. May 18.