Death penalty sought for 3 accused of killing couple

2013-12-16T17:00:00Z 2013-12-17T07:56:09Z Death penalty sought for 3 accused of killing coupleBy Patrick McNamara Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

A man accused of killing his grandparents could face the death penalty if convicted at trial.

Pima County Attorney Barbara LaWall last week filed a notice of intent to seek the penalty against Kyle Drattlo.

Drattlo, 21, along with friends Christopher Terry, 23, and Brianna Harding, 21, stands accused of killing his elderly grandparents in their midtown home in July.

LaWall also filed notices to seek the death penalty against Terry and Harding.

Police and prosecutors said the trio stabbed and beat to death Erskin Fulgham, 87, and Mary Louise Fulgham, 83, and then stole the couple’s car.

The defendants were arrested the next day driving the Fulghams’ Buick in rural Nevada.

Police reports of the incident and later arrests of the three accused in the killings say the group had planned to kill a randomly selected victim and steal their car earlier the same day while on Mount Lemmon. The plans fell through, however, when Pima County sheriff’s deputies ran them off the mountain for panhandling.

Police reports say Drattlo called his grandmother for a ride down the mountain, although it appeared she was unable to pick him up. A neighbor told police someone driving an SUV dropped off Drattlo and two other people at the Fulgham’s house the day the couple was killed.

In addition to two counts of first-degree murder, all three were charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit fist-degree murder, burglary in the first degree, armed robbery, aggravated robbery and theft of a means of transportation.

Harding’s case has been severed from the other defendants.

A trial date has not been set.

Contact reporter Patrick McNamara at 573-4241 or pmcnamara@azstarnet.com. On Twitter @pm929.

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