Joshua Bryant, 18, heard some of the state's evidence against him in the first-degree murder case. Bryant appeared in shackles and kept his head down during much of the preliminary hearing.
He is accused of hitting his stepmother with a baseball bat, knocking her unconscious. Bryant allegedly dragged her into the garage of their home in Edmond after that and then shot her in the head with a rifle. Her body was discovered in the home in April 2017.
Prosecutors say Bryant confessed he shot his stepmother, 54-year-old Katherine Bryant, to put her out of misery.
At the preliminary hearing, the state called a detective with the Edmond Police Department to the stand. The crime scene detectives testified Bryant had a "good relationship" with his stepmother.
A possible motive was not revealed during the hearing. Scott Adams, the prominent defense attorney hired by the Bryant family, offered one possible theory,
"He had personal problems, I think at the end of the day everyone will see Josh did not intentionally do this on his own. There were some intervening factors with drugs and mental health issues."
During cross examination, Adams challenged the crime scene detective, contending Bryant was not of sound mind at the time of the alleged crime. The detective's testimony revealed the teenager was on Zoloft and Adderall and had skipped school to smoke marijuana the same day as the murder. Bryant allegedly told detectives that at the time of the crime he felt out of control of his own actions. The detectives testified that he believed Bryant was being honest in making those remarks.
A second detective was set to testify at the preliminary hearing. However, the defense objected and the judge agreed there was enough evidence to send Bryant to trial. His next court appearance is set for December 9th.
As a routine, prosecutors do not comment in ongoing cases.