Midwest City police arrest a man in the death of his 64-year-old aunt.
Police said 23-year-old Phillip Michael Potts was arrested on a charge of murder in the first degree in the death of Violet Hemphill.
Hemphill was found dead inside her home at 1038 Holly Lane on Monday, February 13. According to the medical examiner's office, Hemphill suffered multiple sharp force injuries to her head and chest.
Police also discovered Potts and his 22-year-old girlfriend in an adjacent bedroom. Both were unconscious and reportedly nude. The two were hospitalized.
Potts was released from the hospital Monday afternoon. He was arrested following an interview with detectives. Potts' girlfriend was released from the hospital on Wednesday. According to police, she told detectives that after Hemphill was killed, she and Potts made a pact to commit suicide by drug overdose and natural gas inhalation. Police said the two each left notes and took prescription drugs.
"The interview process is ongoing with Potts' girlfriend and once all the facts are determined, we will confer with the Oklahoma County District Attorney's office regarding possible charges, if any, against her," said Chief Brandon Clabes, Midwest City Police. "Right now the woman is still classified as a witness."
When police responded to the scene on Monday, officers and firefighters could smell natural gas and forced their way into the home. That's when they discovered the gas stove controls were turned on with no flames. Police said it appeared several electric outlets were modified in an attempt to ignite the gas and cause an explosion.
Police said Potts had been staying with Hemphill, along with his girlfriend, for a few days before the killing occurred.
Potts is being held in the Midwest City Police Department jail awaiting a transfer to the Oklahoma County jail.