• Documents: Man accused of strangling south Tulsa woman faced charges in 2008 murder

    By: Sara Hart

    Updated:

    TULSA, Okla. - Quick facts:

    • Gregory Epperson is accused of strangling a 19-year-old woman to death in south Tulsa.
    • Epperson was previously charged with murder in 2015 over a 2008 incident.
    • Those charges were dropped.
    • FOX23 found out why.
    • Download the FOX23 News app for news updates sent straight to your phone.  

     

    FOX23 has learned that a man accused of strangling an innocent south Tulsa woman to death was charged in another murder case 14 months ago.

    Police believe Gregory Epperson was the man who killed Ray Johnson back in September of 2008.

    Records show murder charges for that case were filed against Epperson in 2015.

    The affidavit for that case says a witness told police that he met Epperson at his home in early to mid-September 2008

    Epperson was reportedly holding a bleach bucket and spraying down his driveway with a garden hose

    The witness allegedly saw blood on the ground and a body on the side of Epperson’s house.

    A bloody hammer lay next to the body.


    Trending Now on FOX23.com


    Epperson allegedly put a gun to the witness’s head and forced him to help load the body into a car.

    They then reportedly drove to dump the body in a north Tulsa creek.

    Police found the car and found hair and blood inside.

    Police say they used DNA to connect that blood and hair back to Johnson.

    The DNA took a while to come back, so charges weren’t filed until July 2015.

    Epperson turned himself in, but his charges were dropped in January 2016.

    FOX23 got a statement from Tulsa County DA Steve Kunzweiler on Tuesday where he spoke on why the case was dismissed.

    “The prosecution of Gregory Jerome Epperson for the death of Ray Johnson was discontinued due to significant concerns about the lack of corroborating evidence to convict him,” Kunzweiler said.

    Johnson’s was never found, there were no eye-witnesses to his death and there was no forensic evidence linking him to the crime. 

    Kunzweiler said the key and only witness against him, a convicted felon and known associate of both Johnson and Epperson, could not be sufficiently corroborated by independent evidence as to his accusations against Epperson.  

    The district attorney’s office said at the time they dropped the charges hoping they would get more evidence in the future.

    Tulsa Police Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker says Epperson was also a suspect in the 2010 murder John Baker.

    Walker says Epperson rented a room from Baker and that he was the last person to see Baker alive.

    Baker’s remains were found at Keystone Lake.

    Walker says they never had enough to charge Epperson.

    The mother of Johnson’s children told FOX23 that she feels for the family of Kelsey Tennant, the 19 year-old who police say Epperson strangled to death Monday.

     

    Next Up: