A 16-year-old accused of murdering two men in Moore then dismembering their bodies will now be tried as an adult. A Cleveland County judge also ruled that two of Brett Boettler's alleged accomplices will transfer to Oklahoma County for their trials.
While the judge’s decisions do mean a victory for the victims’ families, they are still preparing for very emotional months ahead and a holiday without their loved ones. More than a dozen members from Alize Smith and Jarron Moreland's families waited anxiously for the judge to move forward with the trials.
Smith’s father Nathaniel Davis says, “It brings it back when you come to court every time, so it’s like you have to stay strong and just stay positive.”
The two 21-year-old victims were killed in a Crest parking lot in Moore in April.
Investigators say Boettler was the gunman, with his older brother Kevin driving the bodies to a home in Oklahoma City. There, their mother Crystal and the property owner Johnny Barker are accused of then helping the brothers dismember the victims and dump their remains in a lake.
Defense attorneys wanted the charges against Barker and Crystal Boettler dropped because the crime happened outside of Cleveland County. In response, Judge Steve Stice simply transferred the trials to Oklahoma County.
The victims' families were relieved, but still could not hold back their tears.
Moreland’s mother Kennetha says, “Christmas is, I’m not even into it, and now I’ve got my little 6-year-old grandson. Jarron had a 6-year-old son Jarron, Jr. He’s asking for his daddy. I can’t give him his daddy.”
The prosecutor told the families they are in for even more emotional turmoil when all four trials begin, but encouraged them to keep sticking together until the juries reach their verdicts.
“Take care of each other,” he told the group, “pray for each other and just support each other the best you can.”
The formal arraignment dates and subsequent trial dates for the defendants have yet to be determined.