Pair Charged In Seminole Woman's Murder

Friday, November 4th 2011, 9:21 pm
By: News 9

Chris McKinnon, News 9

SEMINOLE, Oklahoma -- The couple accused of killing Veronica Carlson was charged with first degree murder and desecration of a corpse in Seminole County Court today.

During the short hearing a judge advised Marilee Smotherman and Roger Gober of their rights and the punishments that come with the charges.

Friday's hearing was the first time Carlson's two sisters saw their sister's alleged killers face to face.

"It was a little eerie," said Pamela McCleary. "You have all these emotions coming together when you see them for the first time."

If convicted of first-degree murder, Smotherman and Gober each face life in prison, life in prison without parole or the death penalty, which Assistant District Attorney Paul Smith explained, is still on the table of options at this time.

They each face five years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted of desecration of a human corpse.

McCleary said, "Mr. Grober and Ms. Smotherman have both pretty much stated that they had involvement in it. Then I think that the justice system should do what's necessary to make it right."

A probable cause affidavit shows there was a third person who was at the scene when the murder happened. Smith said she is still being investigated but he is not sure if she will be charged as an accessory to the crime. Carlson's sister Winema Hughes wants those charges.

"She could have stopped it sooner or come forward sooner and let people know what really happened instead or waiting a week or so where everybody's frantically looking for [Veronica]."

The sisters said they want justice for Veronica, who was brutally beaten and stabbed multiple times according to court documents, before her throat was slit and her body buried in a shallow grave.

"It doesn't matter who you are, you don't deserve, you don't deserve that," McCleary said while fighting back tears.

She and her sister want swift justice in the case so their family can try to heal.

"They had a really nice visit with the kids and that's our last goodbye," explained McCleary. "No matter how much we don't like it, the world still moves on."