Three suspects were back in court for a preliminary hearing Monday morning for the alleged murder of John Adkins.
Maurice Kent, Daniel Keene and Toby Bighorse are being charged with first degree murder or alternative murder in the second degree and the judge believes there is enough probable cause to move forward with the case. A district court arraignment date is set for April 15 at 1:30 in the afternoon.
At the preliminary hearing, the State presented two witnesses who have participated in the investigation. The first was Bill Gee, a Deputy for the Osage County Sheriff's Office.
Gee and his team of investigators were the first to come across Adkins' body a few miles north of Pawhuska. Upon returning to the Sheriff's Office, Gee was able to speak with all three suspects.
The three suspects admitted that Bighorse was the one who struck Adkins with a hatchet over the side of the head. Gee said that Kent stated he pulled out a knife to force Adkins out of the car. Kent then cut Adkins more than once on the arm. Kent also said he later returned to the scene of the fight to look for his glasses and necklace.
Bighorse told Gee there was talks of the three robbing Adkins that evening because he had been paid by the VA earlier in the day. She went on to tell Gee that after the fight they went to a friend's house and hid the knife and shirt.
Gee recounted Keene saying he got out of the car during the altercation, but there was no evidence to show Keene partook in the fight. Keene did throw Adkins' phone out the window as they drove off.
The Defense questioned Gee in regards to the Medical Examiner's report, as the report doesn't show a clear representation of how he died. The Defense also asked why there was $409 dollars found in Adkins' pocket, along with a debit card if the suspects were trying to rob him.
After a brief recess, Osage County Sheriff's Office Investigator Robert Testerman was called to the stand. Testerman testified that he served a warrant to Kent's home upon his arrest to look for evidence. Testerman stated that he found what is believed to be a debit card belonging to Adkins, along with his wallet. Testerman also found a knife consistent with the one used to cut Adkins.