McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State news

January 31, 2013

Okla. murder suspect said he feared '2 monsters'

(Continued)

NEW ORLEANS —

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation firearms expert Terrance Higgs has testified that markings on .40-caliber shell casings recovered from the scene matched those recovered from Sweat's father's property.

Sweat was charged in the girls' deaths after being arrested in connection to the death of his girlfriend, Ashley Taylor.

Prosecutors suggested a possible connection as they questioned Sweat's mother and her cousin about statements Sweat made about his relationship with Ashley Taylor and his desire to break up with her. Assistant District Attorney Maxey Reilly asked if Sweat had told them Taylor would spread lies about him if he broke off the relationship, including blaming him for the girls' deaths.

But Sweat's mother, Deborah Sweat, and cousin, James McClellan, said they didn't remember Sweat saying Taylor had threatened to tell authorities he shot the two girls.

The hearing will determine if prosecutors have enough evidence to try Sweat, who has pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors have said they will seek the death penalty.

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