Murder Trial Postponed in Sequoyah County
The trial for the last of four defendants accused of killing a Sequoyah County man while posing as a U.S. Marshall has been postponed until Feb. 20.
Craig Hart, 55, was scheduled to appear in court in Sequoyah County Monday (Jan. 13) to face murder charges in his alleged role in the 2011 killing of Jack “Vince” Purselley.
According to investigators, Hart and two other men, David Danylchuk, 54, and William “Doug” Daniel, 54, posed as U.S. Marshals and entered a home belonging to Purselley and his wife just east of Sallisaw, Okla. in July of 2011.
Purselley’s wife, Raelynne Simonin, told authorities she had been kidnapped and raped by one of the alleged attackers during her husband’s murder.
After interviewing Simonin, investigators said they had reason to believe she, too, was involved in her husband’s murder. Authorities said Simonin had lied about being kidnapped and raped. She was then arrested and charged in connection with her husband’s death.
Simonin has previously pleaded no contest to accessory to commit first-degree murder. She received the maximum sentence of 45 years in prison for her role in her husband’s death.
Danylchuk was found guilty of first-degree murder in Purselley’s death.
Daniel pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a 20-year prison sentence and his testimony in his co-defendants’ cases.
Hart faces charges of impersonating a police officer, first-degree burglary and conspiracy to commit burglary in addition to murder charges.
5NEWS will continue to update this story as it develops.