The murder trial of a man nicknamed “Crazy” proved anything but Tuesday afternoon as Lawton police investigators took the stand.
The testimony of LPD Lt. Rachel Flores included crime scene photographs that caused a woman in the gallery to audibly comment from here seat, less than 10 feet from some jurors. Due to COVID-19 precautions, the 12 jurors and two alternates hearing the case are spread out throughout the courtroom, including in part of the gallery.
Following Flores’ testimony, Comanche County District Judge Emmit Tayloe admonished the audience regarding court protocols and any future outburst.
“These are unusual times,” he said. “This is a public trial, but we can’t have comments coming from the audience.”
Regionald V. Talbert, “Crazy,” 35, of Lawton, is charged with first-degree murder, possession of a firearm after former felony conviction and a recently amended and added charge of feloniously pointing a firearm. He’s facing life in prison, life without parole or the death penalty for the murder allegation.
Talbert is accused of pulling the trigger and killing Tyrone Johnson on Jan. 19, 2019. Johnson’s death was Lawton’s first homicide of 2019.
First Assistant District Attorney Kyle Cabelka questioned lead investigator, LPD Detective Jeff Pollard regarding the initial investigation. The detective was working a shift as security officer at Comanche County Memorial Hospital when Johnson was brought in suffering a gunshot wound. Knowing he was up to lead the next “persons crime,” he collected information about the incident from those at the hospital who’d arrived from the scene before leaving for the police department.
Once at the station, Pollard said he spoke with several witnesses until 5:30 a.m. the next morning. Then it was time to write up affidavits for search warrants, including at 1702 SW Douglas where the shooting happened.
A Taurus 9mm handgun was recovered from the home, as was one owned by the victim. Neither, according to Pollard, turned out to be the murder weapon, which has not been recovered.
Over the course of the investigation, including 20 search warrants, one suspect was developed in Johnson’s death.
“That would be Regionald V. Talbert, also known as ‘Crazy,’” he testified.
Talbert, who had fled the state, was found by law enforcement on Feb. 1, in Houston, Texas.
Oklahoma Indigent Defense counsel Albert J. Hoch, of Oklahoma City, asked Pollard if he realized that Talbert may have simply been visiting family members in Houston. He also asked the detective the status of truthfulness from many of the witnesses and if many of them had lied over the course of the investigation.
“Yes sir, they did,” Pollard answered.
Hoch questioned if the recovered Taurus was potentially a “twin” to the unrecovered murder weapon. Pollard said, to his knowledge, that’s not how it works.
“Every weapon has its own unique signature,” he said.
Tuesday’s testimony ended shortly before 3 p.m. and the trial was continued until 9 a.m. today. Cabelka said the State is closing with testimony from Oscar Reyes. The witness is flying in from California and wouldn’t be available until this morning.
Following Reyes’ testimony, Cabelka told the victim’s family his side will rest its case. Depending on if Talbert testifies on his own behalf, followed by closing arguments, the jury is expected to begin its deliberations by afternoon.
Another trial slated to begin today in District Judge Scott D. Meaders’ courtroom has been continued until the January 2021 jury trial docket.
Originally scheduled to begin Monday and then rescheduled for Wednesday, the trial of Brittney Poolaw, 19, of Lawton, for first-degree manslaughter, court records indicate, was pushed forward to the next jury term on Tuesday, according to the District Attorney’s office.
Written by Scott Rains: email@example.com.