|Updated: 2/08/2013 11:35 pm
||Published: 2/08/2013 11:29 pm
Arrest reports show witnesses are playing a key role in the quadruple murder investigation.
On Wednesday police announced two brothers were arrested related to the four murders that happened at Fairmont Terrace last month near 61st & Peoria.
The brothers, Cedric Poore, 39, and James Poore, 32 face four counts of first-degree murder.
Twin sisters Rebeika Powell and Kayetie Melchor and friend Misty Nunley and neighbor Julie Jackson were tied up and shot execution style.
Arrest reports state James Poore told witnesses he shot one of the twins and his brother shot the other three women.
This is not the first time in jail for the brothers. Investigators say way too often, one crime will lead to another and another because witnesses fear speaking up.
“It's frustrating,” said Alicia Lippert.
Lippert knows the consequences better than most when witnesses won’t cooperate, Cedric Poore was once charged in the death of her brother.
In 2005, a prison riot in Cushing ended with the death of a self-proclaimed white-supremacist, Adam Lippert. Reports state he was beaten, punched and stabbed by inmates.
“It's mind baffling, how do you walk away from doing something like and walk away scott free?" said Lippert.
She understands her brother wasn’t a saint and but it wasn’t until he got into prison did he affiliate himself with white pride. She looks back on his death with a lot of pain.
"Guilt, I wish there was something I could have done to help him,” said Lippert.
One of the inmates, Cedric Poore, was originally charged in that riot and was let out of prison early. He is now accused of murdering four women in south Tulsa.
“How many murders do you get to commit before you are held accountable for them?" said Lippert.
Court records show the riot charges were dropped for lack of witnesses willing to talk.
In the case of the quad murders, Tulsa County District Attorney, Tim Harris says he won’t allow that to happen again.
"I want witnesses to feel if I come forward I am not going to walk this journey alone. I am not going to let witnesses let this walk this journey alone,” said Harris.
He says he is pulling on all resources available to him, from the Attorney General to churches. He wants to create a stronger witness protection program to give more witnesses confidence they can share what they know.
"I have to have witnesses to prosecute. It is as simple as that," said Harris. "It's fine and dandy that the witness talks to police but it doesn't do anything for the prosecution if I can't assure that piece of evidence goes before the court."
Harris is working with District Attorney in Denver who is considered to have one of the most respected local witness protection programs in the U.S.
"A witness protection program can be as much as relocating a person from one apartment to another in a different part of town. It could be as intricate as the federal prosecutors have is giving someone a new social security number and new identity,” said Harris.
Currently, the DA has to reach out to the federal government to protect witnesses. However, Harris says his office doesn’t have the money to protect all witnesses.
After the quadruple murders, a Public Safety Intelligence Working Group was created to explore ways to market Crime Stoppers, update a police records system and create a witness protection program. The group was made up city leaders, law enforcement, Crime Prevention Network and media.
Councilors support the recommendations and will look for ways to support it.