By Megan Spees
TULSA, Okla. – A murder trial has been postponed again for one of two men accused in the double homicide of former Keokuk residents.
Darren Price, 20, and Jerard Davis, 22, both of Tulsa, each face two counts of first-degree felony murder for the deaths of Carissa Horton, 18, and Ethan Nichols, 21. The alleged victims were found dead on the morning of Sept. 19, 2011, in a Tulsa park. Both had been shot in the head the previous evening.
Additionally, Price and Davis each face two counts of robbery with a firearm.
Tulsa County prosecutors consented in May to a motion filed by Price’s attorney Jack Gordon Jr. to conduct separate trials for the two men. Both admit to having been present during the deaths of Horton and Nichols, but each accuses the other of firing the gun – thus prompting the motion for separate trials.
Price appeared Thursday morning at a hearing at the Tulsa County Courthouse. His jury trial originally was scheduled for March 4, but Judge Bill Musseman granted a request from defense attorneys Gordon and Mark Cagle to move it to Sept. 9.
A discovery hearing, in which both parties exchange pretrial information, is set for March 28 for Price.
Davis’ discovery hearing will be held Tuesday.
Horton was a first-semester freshman at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa when she died. She was dating Nichols, who’d recently moved from Keokuk to Broken Arrow, Okla., with his family.
The couple were jogging in Hicks Park when Price and Davis allegedly robbed them at gunpoint and forced them to their knees before shooting them.
According to police, Price and Davis stole the couple’s car and cell phones and texted Nichols’ family the following day, pretending to be him in order to throw them off track.
Price returned to the scene of the crime after the bodies were discovered, telling a TV reporter he feared for his family’s safety. He and Davis were arrested hours later.
After Horton and Nichols were identified, patrol officers scoured the area around the park and found what appeared to be Nichols’ 2001 White Pontiac Grand Am at a nearby apartment complex. A pursuit of the vehicle ended when the driver, Price, crashed into an apartment building. Police later arrested Davis at a separate location.