Suspect in Weleetka murders, Kevin Sweat, in court for preliminary hearing

OKEMAH, Okla. - The man accused of killing two young girls near Weleetka in 2008 made an appearance in an Okfuskee County court Monday.

Sporting a new haircut and shedding the bulletproof vest, Kevin Sweat went before a judge set to determine whether or not the 26-year-old would go to trial.

Sweat is charged with shooting and killing 13-year-old Taylor Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker. The case was under investigation for three years with no leads about what happened to the girls.

In November 2011, authorities tied Sweat to the case after arresting him for the murder of his girlfriend, Ashley Taylor. 

"There's a lot of questions that haven't been answered yet," said Michael Taylor, Ashley's father. "So now we're here hoping we can gill in some of those blanks."

Taylor said he understands what the families of the Weleetka girls are going through.

"My heart goes out for that family as well as everybody affected by Kevin," he said.

Peter Placker, Taylor Placker's grandfather, testified Monday about how he found the girls in a ditch a half mile from his house.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Sweat, who has pleaded not guilty.

He goes to trial for Ashley Taylor's murder in June.

2NEWS reporter Brandon Richard is in Okfuskee County Monday following this story. Tune in tonight at 5 and 6 for this story and more.

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