Kevin Sweat

This past month Dish Network offered me a free month of my favorite channel... Investigation Discovery or better known as ID.  One would think that I of all people would already subscribe to this channel, and I have in the past but what some do not know is that I am also a cheap person.  This channel was only available in the next price range and it was the only one in the package I wanted so I had opted out of that when I changed providers. I bog down my DVR and my list of cases get that much longer!  This was a case that I saw a show about just yesterday and instead of adding it to my list at the bottom I made sure it was next in line to look at.

The show in which featured this story was called Shadow of Doubt, indicating there were or are some questions as to the conclusion that was made.  As I have often said, shows such of this nature have generally one hour to tell their story and are almost always bias in some way.  This show was no different.  It tended to gloss over the things that pointed to Kevin Sweat's guilt and highlight the areas in which there were questions.  Kevin Sweat was interviewed for the show and claims to be innocent, at least for some of his crimes, to the point in which he claimed to not know two of the victims.  After doing research on the case I will admit that there is a twinge of doubt in me that investigators got it completely right, but I believe less in Sweat's current declarations. I believe there were possibly two people involved in one of the crimes but I cannot say with certainty that one of them was not Sweat. In fact, forensic results tell me that he was.

On the evening of June 8, 2008 schoolmates and friends, eleven year old Skyla Whitaker and thirteen year old Taylor Placker  went out for a walk after the two had spent the night at Taylor's house the night before.  They lived in the small rural area of Weleetka Oklahoma which is about ninety miles east of Oklahoma City.  The area was pretty desolate and homes and farmland were spread out.  It was an area that was too far off the main roads to have "lost" travelers and believed to be an area that only locals knew about.  To give an idea of just how small this community was the elementary school only had about 100 students and each of the girls were the only girls in their respective classes.  Taylor had not lived in the area but a few years. She had been homeschooled before she had come to live with her grandparents.  Just after five that evening Taylor's grandmother called her cell phone to have the girls return home but there was no answer so she sent her husband to go look for them. About a mile down the road from the home Peter Placker would find his granddaughter and her friend in a ditch on the site of the road.  They had both been shot.  

I found different reports as to how many times the girls had been shot.  One said they were each shot in the head and the chest, another stated that there were thirteen shots fired by two separate guns and one referenced that Taylor had at least one gun shot wound under her shorts.  Suffice to say regardless how many times they were hit the bullet wounds were fatal.

The small community was devastated but there seemed to be no leads.  Investigators of course looked at the families but there was nothing pointing to any of them.  The only clues they could determine from the evidence was that a Glock .40 and a .22 caliber gun had been used.  It was believed that the bodies had been moved into the ditch and the girls had not been shot in the spot in which they laid.  The local police made a call out for residents that owned Glocks to come and have them tested. Dozens did but none matched the casings found at the scene. It seems they were never able to determine if either of the girls had been sexually assaulted but it has been speculated that it may have possible. It has been said that one of Taylor's wounds had appeared in an area under her shorts but her shorts were not damaged. It indicated that she had not had the shorts on when she was shot in that particular area and that they were placed back on her body after.

A few months before the three year anniversary of the murders, in 2011, Kevin Sweat and his girlfriend, Ashley Taylor were pulled over for a traffic violation.  When the officers searched the car they found some marijuana but they also found an empty case for a Glock.  Everyone knew the police were looking for a Glock so of course he was questioned about the empty case.  He would say that he had sold it a few months prior but he did not specifically know the name as to who the person was or even for sure when.  When he was asked where he had gotten it in the first place he did remember and said a police officer had sold it to him.

Sweat and Taylor were eventually let go but the issue of the Glock was going to be looked into.  And then, on July 17, 2011 Ashley Taylor disappeared.  She had told her family that she and Sweat were going to elope.  When she did not return her family got worried.  Sweat of course was questioned and it seems he broke down fairly quickly.  On August 4, 2011 the charred remains of Ashley Taylor were found on Kevin Sweat's father's property.  Of course DNA testing had to be done to be sure but they had found clothing and jewelry belonging to her in or near her remains.  A search warrant was conducted on the home and property.  

There seems to be no dispute how Ashley died.  Kevin practically sang at least the details of her death.  He claimed to have slit her throat and then taken her body to his father's property where he burned it.  He would initially say his motive was because she was pushing him to get married and he was not ready.  He would later change that.

So while the search warrant was being conducted shell casings were found on the property and taken into evidence.  Kevin's father would also give officers a receipt pertaining to a Glock 4.0 that apparently had been sold at a gun show.  It seemed it was now time to talk to the officer that sold him the gun in the first place.  The officer who had sold Sweat the gun at some point had sent it back to the manufacturer for some reason while he had owned it.  Through there they were able to get the serial number of the gun to be able to send out a BOLO to find this gun again.  To be honest, I have to say I am unsure that the gun was found.  What I do know is that investigators tested the shell casings found on Pat Sweat's property and would say they were a match to the shells found at the scene of Skyla and Taylor's murder.

While the testing was being done and all the investigation was being looked at to find the gun and other evidence of course Sweat was questioned.  This is where things get a bit sticky.  Sweat repeated several times that not only was he not involved in the murders but that he did not know the girls.  The first part of that could have possibly been true but the last part is highly unlikely.  First, I have already mentioned just how small this community was.  Secondly, Sweat's grandfather's property was right next door to the Plackers and very near where the bodies were found (if not on the same property).  Thirdly, Sweat had worked with one of Taylor's family members (some said mother, some said aunt and some said grandmother).  And fourthly, although it was not known until a bit later Sweat apparently knew Chris Placker, Taylor's uncle.  

However after being interviewed for several hours he would confess to murdering the girls.  His story, at least the first one, was that he had been driving around and he had some sort of blackout or hallucination and he had seen the girls but in his mind they were "monsters." He claimed he had grabbed the Glock and shot and had then reached over and grabbed a .22 he had in the car and fired it too.  It does not seem that in this story, or in any story he told, that he mentioned anything about moving the bodies at all.  This all seemed to occur sometime in late 2011 as he was officially charged with the murder of the girls in that December.  At some point, although I was unclear exactly when Kevin would tell investigators that he had killed Ashley because she had threatened to tell authorities about him killing the girls. He would claim that he may have "blacked out" again as he said in the issue with the girls or was like in a "trance" of some sort as they struggled with a gun and then somehow or another her throat was apparently cut.

Sometime after this as the investigators and prosecutors were gathering more evidence for trial it was discovered that his "monster" story, that most never really believed was not what had really happened and that his true motive was likely revenge against the Placker's.  It was said that Chris Placker, Taylor's uncle was a drug dealer of some sort.  I am unsure what it was that he was rumored, or maybe proven, to have sold.  Authorities learned that in 2007 Kevin's brother, Brian had died of a drug overdose and that Kevin had told people that he was going to get even with Chris Placker because he was convinced that he had sold either his brother, or friends of his brother "bad drugs."  It was not long after investigators confronted him with this knowledge that suddenly in July of 2014 he decided he wanted plea deal in which he would confess to the three murders but he wanted something in return.  He wanted to talk to the FBI.  Prosecutors made the deal.

Now, it is really unclear what it was that Sweat wanted to talk to the FBI about but he did get his wish.  Whatever it was either the FBI was not impressed with what he had to say and Sweat knew this or Sweat was unimpressed with them.  The answer to that is unclear.  However, by the time he went to court in October to put the plea bargain in motion and be sentenced he had decided this was not something that he wanted to do.  Apparently he tried to make that clear before they stepped foot in the courtroom because just outside the doors he attacked his attorney with a razor blade.  The attorney was not injured badly but court was delayed for about an hour and an associate of his attorney stood in for him.

What happened next is something that I am not sure that I have heard before, nor am I sure that I agree with.  Once in front of the judge it seems that Kevin Sweat made it clear that he no longer wanted to plead guilty and accept the plea agreement.  The judge disagreed with that and accepted the plea anyway.  Sweat was then sentenced to three life terms without the possibility of parole.

In an article written in 2015 it stated that Sweat was arguing that he should have been able to withdraw his guilty plea because he did not understand the consequences. To be honest I am unsure what exactly that means, but to be fair, I think he should have been allowed to withdraw his guilty plea for whatever reason he wanted to.  This does not mean that I think he was innocent or that even taking his case to a jury was a waste of tax payer money, but I feel that was his legal right.  

Today Sweat is back to claiming to not knowing the girls or being involved in any way so I can only assume he is back to killing Ashley because she wanted to marry him and he "wasn't ready" because saying he killed her because she was going to rat him out about killing the girls just would not fit now.  Of course just like there is in every case there are the nay sayers who claim he was framed, or coerced when it came to the case against Skyla and Taylor.  I will admit that the lack of DNA bothers me but to be clear I am unsure ANY DNA was found.  To add to this as I said in the beginning I am unsure that I do not believe that someone was not with him when the girls were shot.  So few perpetrators use more than one weapon at a scene, especially two different types of guns.  That is usually indicative of two people, I do agree.  However, it seems that Kevin Sweat has done this to himself with his flip flopping of his story. Of course his attorney's at some point claimed that Sweat suffers from autism but it is one of those things that did not come out until it was convenient so I am unsure of just how legit that is.  

That being said I do not see this being over for the families of Skyla Whitaker and Taylor Placker.  I can see a judge overturning the plea at least in those two, if not also the murder of Ashley Taylor also.  As far as Ashley's case goes I can see him attempting to plea, although differently, in her case considering it was his girlfriend and her charred body was found on his father's property.  But, I see him taking the other case to trial and dragging it out.  I guess we will have to wait and see. 

Comments

  1. There WAS dna found, semen inside one or both girls,not sure exactly.and it did not match kevin.the girls shorts were put back on.seems like one guy was raping and one was standing guard.sounds like one ran naked and thats how she got shot under the shorts.so there is definitely a child rapist thats still free and nobody involved seems to care about that.i just decided to look into this case since i watched shadow of doubt and saw their story on murder comes to town.

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  2. I have to agree. I just watched the episode of Shadow of doubt, they clearly state that DNA evidence was found on the bodies and compared to Taylors cousin. But it was never compared to Kevin? They also didn't mention that the bodies had been moved. I think the show should really work on their stories and shouldn't make up parts that never occured or did occur and not mention it. I prefer more serious documentaries anyways, but there is only so much to watch.

    Good article! I totally agree.

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  3. The girls did not sleep that night. I wonder if they had a visitor that night or had left the house. It is obvious that there is a child rapist among this community since Sweat's DNA did not match the semen found in the girls underwear. I am not convince that Sweat kill these girls.

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  4. I agree something is up in this situation. Now the show Murder Comes To Town is airing about the killing. No mention of DNA yet. This is the issue I have - where did the semen come from?

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