(Stillwater) – Payne County District Attorney Rob Hudson says his office will seek the death penalty for the suspect in a triple murder in Cushing this week. Robert Chad Lansford-Barela is being held without bond in the Payne County Jail in connection with the slayings of three people in Cushing. He is accused of shooting Albert Sernas, Elizabeth Hueser and Douglas Mason Peck. Barela was taken into custody by OSU Police in Stillwater Thursday morning. According to an affidavit filed by the OSBI in the case, Barela confessed to the killings.
Hudson says he will seek the death penalty in the case because Barela killed two people because they were witnesses. In Oklahoma, for the death penalty to be sought, aggravating circumstances must be demonstrated. Hudson says he believes the case meets that standard.
Barela was scheduled for a second court appearance Thursday at which time an attorney was to be appointed.
On Wednesday, OSBI agents found a .45 caliber pistol believed to be the murder weapon in a retention pond north of Meridian Technology Center. Authorities say Barela left a vehicle missing from the crime scene at a Stillwater Wal-Mart Store and began walking into town. He was taken into custody near Sixth and Western streets, about two miles from the store.
He was taken to the Stillwater Police Department where he was interviewed by OSBI Agents and Cushing Police. He was booked into the Payne County Jail Tuesday afternoon, and formal charges were filed on Wednesday. Barela made an initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon.