Witnesses begin testimonies in murder trial

Jason Angus Reporter

January 22, 2014

After moving through the jury selection process on Tuesday, Jan. 21, at Jackson County Courthouse, the process ended at about 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Witnesses are being called to the stand today to testify in the criminal case, “the State of Oklahoma, Plaintiff vs. Manuel Daniel, Jr., Defendant” for the alleged murder of an Altus woman, Melissa D. Bost.

Daniel is charged with a felony of first degree murder for unlawfully, and with malice and forethought, causing the death of Bost by choking and stabbing her on or around Feb. 27, 2012. The charge punishable by death, or imprisonment for life without parole. Judge Richard Darby stated that the defendant is presumed innocent as the State has the burden of proving the defendant guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

Daniel is being represented by Attorney Perry Hudson of Oklahoma City, with Steve Wilson and Steve Dunbar. The State of Oklahoma is being represented by Attorney David Thomas of Altus, with lead Detective Bill Perkins (A.P.D.) and Victim Advocate Vineyard.

The State has listed 23 possible witnesses, and the defendant has listed 49 possible witnesses to provide testimonies. Some witnesses are on both lists. Witnesses include several Altus Police Department officers or detectives, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation personnel, an Oklahoma City Medical Examiner, family members related to the defendant, and family members related to the victim.

Thomas stated that as the trial continues the a medical examiner will be called to testify on each injury, and fatal injury, on graphic photographs of injuries inflicted to the victim as a result of having been beaten and stabbed, as evidence submitted by the State.