Trial Continues Today in Double Murder - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

11/02/05

Trial Continues Today in Double Murder

Chatham County Courthouse Chatham County Courthouse

Should a man who brutally murdered a Chatham County mother and daughter live or die? Dorian O'Kelley's on trial for his life. The details of the killings are disturbing, and even O'Kelley's attorneys admit he did it. They're working to convince the jury to spare his life, while the prosecution wants to prove why he deserves to die.

Police say O'Kelley and his friend Daryl Stinski killed Susan Pittman and her 13-year-old daughter Kimberly on April 11, 2002. They beat and stabbed the mother to death, making Kimberly watch. Then they raped, tortured, beat and stabbed Kimberly.

But when she refused to die, they set the home on fire.

O'Kelley spoke to us at the scene of the fire on Whitfield Avenue before police suspected him of the crime. "It was real bright and it was hot and ashes were coming down the size of basketballs," he said in that 2002 interview. "I was afraid since I live across the street that the fire was going to move over. I was terrified."

Prosecutors are using that interview at the trial and O'Kelley's videotaped confession to police. They say he enjoyed what he did and kept a souvenir. Prosecutor Greg McConnel said police found a plastic bag in his wallet containing one of Kimberly's teeth.

O'Kelley's friend John Owen took the stand, saying O'Kelley showed him the tooth and bragged about the murders.

Heather Bailey, Susan Pittman's oldest daughter, also testified. She talked about what Stinski and O'Kelley took from her family's home, not about the murders.

At the end of day, many in the courtroom were left wondering why. O'Kelley's lawyer, Steven Beauvais, tried to explain. "How could a sane person commit these acts?" he said. "But I want to be clear and fair. I'm telling you the defense of insanity is not being raised in this case, that's because O'Kelley is sane."

Beauvais is trying to paint O'Kelley as a victim himself, blaming his actions on a history of mental problems, lack of an education and child abuse.

The trial is continuing this morning. We'll have crews there and coverage throughout the day.

They haven't yet set a date for Darryl Stinski's trial.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

Powered by Frankly