Sentencing Trial Date Set For Sequoyah County Murder Suspect

Hart

A sentencing trial date has been set for a Sequoyah County man suspected of being involved in the murder of Jack “Vince” Purselley, of Sallisaw, according to a court official.

Craig Hart, 55, is undergoing a pre-sentencing investigation before his sentencing hearing takes place on Aug. 11 at 1:30 p.m., officials say.

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 east of Sallisaw in July, 2011, according to investigators.

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 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 opted out of a jury trial and went for a blind plea, where the judge will decide the result of his case.