Lawyers in the case of an Oklahoma couple facing the death penalty for allegedly kidnapping a man whose body was dumped at a Texarkana racetrack want a federal judge to set a death-penalty deadline.
A motion filed jointly last week by Texarkana defense attorneys Jeff Harrelson and Craig Henry and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matt Quinn asks U.S. District Judge Susan Hickey to establish Nov. 1 as the deadline for the government to announce whether it will seek the death penalty for Chrystal Lynn Larcade, 37, and Leslie Bruce Larcade, 47.
The couple was arrested Aug. 13 after a witness reported seeing them dump the body of Shannon Deval Watkins, 45, at the Texarkana Speedway in Texarkana, Ark.
Initially, state prosecutors in Miller County charged the couple with capital murder, abuse of a corpse and kidnapping. In January, the couple was indicted for conspiracy to commit kidnapping and kidnapping resulting in the death of a person. Kidnapping resulting in the death of a person is punishable by death or life without the possibility of parole. Conspiracy to commit kidnapping is punishable by up to life in prison. Both offenses also carry the possibility of a fine of up to $250,000.
Also in the motion filed last week, a continuance of the trial date for at least another nine months is requested, a move that would set the case for trial in 2013.
Until then, the Larcades will remain in federal custody.
Court documents allege the Broken Bow, Okla., couple were motivated to kidnap Watkins, also of Broken Bow, because they had seen a Facebook posting by a former Miller County pawn store employee offering $1,000 to anyone who would bring Watkins to him.
Watkins was allegedly lured to the Larcades' home by Chrystal Larcade. After being incapacitated with a stun gun, Watkins was allegedly restrained with handcuffs, duct tape, a rope around his neck and a garbage sack over his head.
A Speedway employee called authorities after allegedly watching the Larcades dump Watkins' lifeless body in a garage on the property about 8:45 a.m. Aug. 13. Later the same day, the pair wase taken into custody after a brief chase near Grannis, Ark., documents state.
Numerous items, including a pistol, several knives and a pair of bloody handcuffs were recovered from roadsides on which the Larcades allegedly traveled.
An autopsy revealed Watkins died of asphyxiation.
(source: The Times)