Tulsa County jurors find Darren Price, on trial for Hicks Park double murder, guilty

TULSA - A jury has found a 21-year-old man guilty of murdering a young couple in an east Tulsa park.

Jurors started their deliberations shortly after 5 p.m. in the double murder trial of 21-year-old Darren Price.

Just before 9 p.m., Price was found guilty of two counts of murder, two counts of robbery with a firearm and one count of eluding police.

Price was charged with the murders of ORU student Carissa Horton, 18, and her boyfriend, Ethan Nichols, 21.

According to detectives, Horton and Nichols were shot execution style on their knees while taking an evening walk in Tulsa's Hicks Park in September 2011.

A passerby discovered the bodies the next morning.

Police arrested Price and Jerard Davis for the murders. Davis pleaded guilty last year to both murders and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Last week the state laid out its case against Price.  Jurors heard testimony from family members of one of the victims, investigators and medical experts.

Nichols' father and sister said they received texts from someone claiming to be Nichols the day after he was murdered.

Jurors also heard testimony from Steven M. Sanders, an inmate at the Tulsa County Jail.

Sanders testified about a conversation he had with Price in jail in which he said Price admitted to shooting Horton in the head and stealing both victims' cellphones and the keys to Nichols' vehicle.

Price's attorneys declined to cross-examine many of the state's witnesses last week but did question Sanders and called into doubt his credibility.

Sanders admitted he was a career criminal and had come forward in the past with information he learned about other criminal cases.

A medical examiner told jurors it appeared Horton and Nichols were both shot in the head and that the gun was likely located a few inches from them.

Lead detective Vic Regalado said it appears Nichols had his hands behind his back and Horton was on her knees when they were shot.

Another charge, possession of a firearm as a felon, will be dealt with after the murder trial. The court did not want jurors to decide this charge because they would know Price is a convicted felon and that might impact their impartiality.

Price's sentencing is expected to begin Tuesday. Prosecutors have asked for the death penalty.

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