Defense bid to dismiss rape counts in attack on elderly Tulsa couple is denied
BY BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Thursday, February 28, 2013
2/28/13 at 8:33 AM
A judge on Wednesday rejected a request to dismiss two rape counts against a Tulsa man who is accused of sexually assaulting and murdering an elderly woman.
Tulsa County District Judge William Kellough denied a defense motion that involves a contention that the prosecution did not present sufficient evidence at a preliminary hearing to have Tyrone Dale David Woodfork bound over for trial on two counts of first-degree rape in the attack on 84-year-old Nancy Strait.
At the close of a preliminary hearing in August, Special Judge David Youll ordered Woodfork held for trial on multiple counts, including two rape charges and a first-degree murder charge.
Woodfork also faces trial on two counts of armed robbery and single counts of first-degree burglary and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.
Woodfork, who turns 21 in March, contended that he did no more than slap the woman, Detective Vic Regalado has said.
Woodfork said he beat "the old man" - identified by police as Nancy Strait's husband, Bob Strait - and fired a BB gun into his face, Regalado testified previously.
Woodfork told police that he entered the couple's home in the 3300 block of East Virgin Street on March 14 after kicking open a door, the detective said.
Woodfork clearly denied having any physical contact of a sexual nature with Nancy Strait, according to his attorney, Deputy Chief Public Defender Shena Burgess.
Nancy Strait died the day after the attack.
A medical examiner listed her probable cause of death as complications of blunt head trauma.
Bob Strait, 89, died May 4.
A medical examiner reported that he "had many severe underlying medical conditions," with the most likely cause of his death attributable to disease.
No homicide charge was filed in connection with his death.
On Wednesday, Kellough postponed Woodfork's arraignment until April 24.
Prosecutors are considering filing a request for the death penalty. Assistant District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler has indicated that no decision has been made on that issue.
Burgess also filed a motion contending that Woodfork was arrested illegally and that therefore his statement to police should be suppressed as evidence.
Kunzweiler has requested an evidentiary hearing on that matter.
Original Print Headline: Defense bid to dismiss rape counts is denied
Bill Braun 918-581-8455
Tyrone Dale David Woodfork: He is accused in the sexual assault and murder of an 84-year-old Tulsa woman.
Crime-scene tape cordons off the home of Bob and Nancy Strait, in the 3300 block of East Virgin Street, as police investigate the attack on them last March 14. The elderly couple were critically injured, and Nancy Strait died from her injuries the next day. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World file
Bob and Nancy Strait are seen in this photo provided by their family. Courtesy