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Trial begins for suspect in elderly Tulsa woman's rape, murder
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Trial begins for suspect in elderly Tulsa woman's rape, murder

Trial begins for suspect in elderly Tulsa woman's rape, murder
Photo Credit: Russell Mills
Tyrone Woodfork, arrested for the murder of Nancy Strait in Tulsa, March 15, 2012

Trial begins for suspect in elderly Tulsa woman's rape, murder

It was a series of savage crimes perpetrated on an elderly Tulsa couple, but the suspect who goes on trial this week in Tulsa County District Court won't face the death penalty.

Police arrested Tyrone Woodfork soon after the beating, torture, rape and murder of Nancy Strait, 85, in her home near N. Harvard Ave. and Virgin St. in March, 2012.

Her husband Bob Strait, 90, was also beaten, shot in the head with his own BB gun, and left for dead.

He died in May of that year, but Woodfork isn't charged with his murder.

He does face multiple counts of burglary, robbery, assault, and rape, and one count of first-degree murder.

He was arrested the day after the home invasion after he was caught with the victims' car.

In June, 2013, prosecutors announced they would not seek the death penalty in the case.

Lead prosecutor Doug Drummond told KRMG they believe Woodfork's diminished mental capacity would make an execution illegal.

"The United States Supreme Court, 2002, ruled that you can not execute those who are mentally retarded," Drummond said at the time. "Following up on that, Oklahoma has a pretty detailed statute as to what type of individual that qualifies as mentally retarded."

The term "mentally retarded" is in the statute, and was not a characterization of the defendant by Drummond.

Woodfork has reportedly admitted he broke into the Strait residence, but has denied raping Nancy Strait.

He faces life in prison, with or without the possibility of parole, on the murder charge.

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