By: Joe Strupp
A former newspaper carrier for the Tulsa World accused of killing two women along his delivery route in 2005 will be tried for both crimes at the same time, the paper reported Friday.
Paul Williford, charged with two counts of first degree murder, will have the charges consider together in a trial set to begin Oct. 8, a judge ruled Thursday.
“District Judge Jesse Harris denied a defense request to sever the counts and schedule separate trials for Williford, 66,” the World reported. Williford, who arrived at and left a Tulsa County courtroom in a wheelchair Thursday, is accused of killing Geraldine Lawhorn, 75, and Donna Jo Stauffer, 73, the paper reported.
Prosecutors claim Williford choked Lawhorn and drowned her in a bathtub in September 2005, then strangling Stauffer in October 2005 at her home.
Assistant Public Defender Paula Keck Moore asserted in a brief that a joint trial was not proper “because the element of a relatively short period of time” between the two alleged offenses was not present, the World reported. It added that prosecutors were not pursuing the death penalty.
The World terminated Williford’s contract as an independent carrier after his arrest.