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US authorities: Man sought in 5 killings arrested

US authorities: Man sought in 5 killings arrested

A man accused of strangling his ex-girlfriend and her four young children was returned to Oklahoma early Thursday from Texas following his arrest after a car crash.
Joshua Steven Durcho, 25, arrived at the jail in El Reno, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City, around 2 a.m., authorities said. A jailer said he didn't know when Durcho would make an initial court appearance.
Durcho waived extradition Wednesday during a brief court hearing in Texas, where he was taken into custody Tuesday night after his vehicle struck a guardrail and tree, officials said.
Prosecutors in Oklahoma charged Durcho with five counts of first-degree murder Tuesday, a day after an El Reno police officer conducting a welfare check found 25-year-old Summer Garas and her children dead in their apartment in the Oklahoma City suburb.
Garas had three daughters _ Kirsten Rust, 7; Autumn Rust, 6; and Evynn Garas, 3 _ and a 4-year-old son, Teagin Rust.
Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty, assistant district attorney Paul Hesse said Wednesday.
Each victim was strangled and had ligature marks around their neck, according to an Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation affidavit filed in the case. The exact manner in which the strangulations were done was not clear, spokeswoman Jessica Brown said.
Garas' mother, Susan Rust, told The Associated Press her daughter ended her relationship with Durcho on Sunday.
"She said it was over and it was done, and apparently that didn't go over very well," Rust said Wednesday.
"I hope he gets the slowest, most painful death because that's what he has earned. Hell is too good for him," she added.
According to court records, Durcho was convicted of car theft as a juvenile and several minor drug charges as an adult. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2003 for unlawful possession of marijuana and released in February 2007, records show.
Durcho's stepfather, Shelton Bryan, acknowledged his son liked to drink and smoke marijuana, but said he was never violent and was affectionate toward Garas' children.
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Associated Press writer Angela K. Brown in Hamilton, Texas, contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-02-27 12:45 GMT+08:00