The Shawnee News-Star
  • Murder defendant to undergo competency evaluation

  • A defendant charged in the killing of a college student in Asher was ordered Wednesday to undergo a competency evaluation.
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  • A defendant charged in the killing of a college student in Asher was ordered Wednesday to undergo a competency evaluation.
    Jerrod Murray, 18, of Asher, is charged with first-degree murder and could face the death penalty if convicted in the December shooting death of Generro Sanchez, 18.
    Murray, who appeared in Pottawatomie County District Court Wednesday for a hearing on competency issues, was ordered to undergo evaluation before the case proceeds further.
    That evaluation is expected to occur between now and Aug. 8, with a follow-up hearing scheduled that day to review competency, court records show.
    Murray is accused of shooting Sanchez, his classmate from East Central University in Ada, where both were freshman. Sanchez was a native of Stuart, Okla.
    During a recent preliminary hearing, where a judge ruled there was sufficient evidence for Murray's case to proceed to trial, the judge heard Murray's own words from the law enforcement interrogation interview.
    The video of that interview revealed Pottawatomie County Undersheriff Travis Palmer asking Murray about the statements he allegedly made when Palmer arrested him on the side of the road about 3:12 a.m. the morning of Dec. 6, with the taped interview occurring about 6 a.m. that day.
    "I shot him in the head twice," Murray said during that interview. "Three shots were fired…one missed."
    Speaking matter-of-factly, Murray, on the tape, described where the incident occurred in Asher and explained how he knew Sanchez "only by his first name" after they met in the dorm room of a mutual friend, where they played video games.
    The tape revealed details of how Murray offered Sanchez $20 gas money for a ride from the dorms to the Walmart in Ada, which Murray said was 1.7 miles from the college campus.
    When they pulled into the parking lot, Murray explained he pulled a gun on Sanchez and forced him to drive to Asher, with Palmer asking, "Why Asher?"
    As the tape played, there was silence and a long pause before Murray answered.
    "Because I was planning to take him out into the country and kill him," Murray responded on that tape.
    The shooting occurred on Substation Road, prompting the pickup to crash into a tree. The victim's body was found in a ditch along that road, which is located south of U.S. 177 and SH 59.
    Watch for updates.
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