Trial for a Lone Grove man accused of the 2007 murder of his mother is set to begin Monday, but a jury of his peers won’t decide whether to acquit or convict.


Trial for a Lone Grove man accused of the 2007 murder of his mother is set to begin Monday, but a jury of his peers won’t decide whether to acquit or convict.

Lee Purser was originally scheduled to stand trial earlier this month during the regularly scheduled jury docket, but less than two weeks before he was to enter the courtroom he waived his rights to have 12 Carter County residents deliberate the evidence in the case. On Dec. 23 Purser’s attorneys filed court documents requesting a non-jury trial. District Judge Tom Walker granted the request, agreeing to hear the evidence himself Monday and deliver a verdict.

The 27-year-old man is accused of slaying his mother, Pam, on June 17, 2007, at her Lone Grove residence and abandoning his toddler nephew inside the house when he fled the death scene.

Although Purser became a suspect early in the investigation into the slaying, he wasn’t arrested until 17 months later. He was taken into custody on a warrant charging him with first-degree murder by OSBI agents on Nov. 20 at a Norman apartment complex. District Attorney Crag Ladd said at the time he sought the warrant based on two sets of DNA evidence that linked the son to his mother’s death.

Purser’s indigent defense team, led by Mary Bruehl, has repeatedly challenged their client’s competency. However, former Special District Judge Charles Tate issued a ruling a year ago that the Lone Grove man was competent based on a mental health evaluation. The defense has also argued their client takes medication for a mental illness and “hears voices.” But those challenges have not halted the case as it made its’ way to the trial stage.

Courthouse observers said last week evidence in the case is not expected to take more than a day to present. However, Walker may take longer to consider the evidence before he hands down a verdict.

Purser has been held at the Carter County Detention Center on a $2 million bond since his arrest.