Denied: Man accused of three murders cannot withdraw guilty pleas; victim’s families speak out

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OKEMAH, Okla. – A convicted killer was back in court Friday.

Kevin Sweat is convicted in the murders of Skyla Whitaker and Taylor Paschal Placker,  young girls found dead on a rural road outside Weleetka in 2008.

He’s also convicted in the murder of Ashley Taylor, his fiancé.

Just a week after he attacked his attorney with a razor, he was back in an Okfuskee County Courtroom trying to obtain a jury trial.

Sweat arrived in court with beefed up security and a new attorney as he made a last ditch effort to get his guilty plea withdrawn.

He appeared calm as he answered questions on the stand for more than an hour.

“It’s hard to look at him and listen to him talk or even breathe… it’s hard,” Patricia Taylor said. She’s the mother of Ashley Taylor, Sweat’s fiancé.

Sweat is convicted in her murder and the murders of best friends Skyla Whitaker and Taylor Paschal Placker, who were gunned down outside Weleetka in 2008.

Sweat pleaded guilty to the three murders in July, but today he told the court he was forces to plea.

“His answers were inconsistent with previous testimony,” District Attorney Max Cook said.

Sweat claimed his previous attorneys gave up on him, saying they told him he was going to get convicted no matter what.

In the end, the judge didn’t buy it. He denied Sweat’s request to withdraw his plea.

When prosecutors questioned him Friday, we learned Sweat told the FBI that the OSBI “dressed up someone to look like him” in his police interviews.

Taylor’s father says the allegations are bizarre, but not surprising.

“There’s been enough strange things through this whole thing, but it is done, and we can move forward to start to try to heal,” Michael Taylor said.

Sweat said Friday that he’d risk the death penalty to get a trial.

The death penalty was taken off the table when attorneys worked out his plea deal.

“I think there’s a lot to be said about having to spend the rest of your life in jail and having to watch your back the rest of your life,” Taylor said.

Sweat’s movements in the courtroom Friday were more closely watched after last week’s attack on his attorney, a man angry with his current situation – one that’s now unlikely to change.




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