Father Who Said Daughter Killed Herself Faces Trial

Cops say his story doesn't add up
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2018 4:56 AM CST
Father Who Said Daughter Shot Herself Faces Murder Trial
In a photo from Monday, Ronald Lee McMullen Jr. is led to the courtroom at Cleveland County District Court for a preliminary hearing in his first-degree murder case in Norman, Okla.   (Steve Sisney/The Oklahoman via AP)

An Oklahoma father who claimed his daughter fatally shot herself in the face while playing with a gun is going to stand trial for her murder. At a hearing Monday, a police detective in Norman testified that father Ronald Lee McMullen Jr.'s version of events is physically impossible, the Tulsa World reports. McMullen, 43, called 911 at 5:42am on June 29 last year and said daughter Kailee Jo McMullen, 22, had been "playing with a wheel-gun" that went off when he tried to take it from her. Detective Brian Franks, however, testified that the "stippling" of gunpowder residue on Kailee's face indicated that the revolver was fired from around 18 inches away—and her reach while holding the gun could have been no more than 14 inches. "It tells me it was fired outside of her reach," he said.

Kailee, a former high school cheerleader, worked as an EMT. Her father was arrested and charged with first-degree murder a few days after her death. The Oklahoman reports that according to an affidavit for a search warrant, officers responding to the 911 call found large amounts of blood and evidence that somebody had tried to clean it up. Officers said that after they took photos of McMullen, he got on the ground and began covering himself with dirt. Police, who describe McMullen as a "very controlling father," say he was accused of sexually abusing Kailee in 2009 but wasn't charged. According to the affidavit, she told friends in the months before her death that her father had started abusing her again. At Monday's hearing, the judge decided there was enough evidence to send him to trial. (More Oklahoma stories.)

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