Dressed in the orange jumpsuits of jailhouse inmates and wearing both wrist and ankle shackles, a pair of 16-year-old Ardmore High School students were escorted into the Carter County Courthouse Tuesday to face a charge accusing them of the murder of another AHS student.
Evan Knox and Tyrik Cohee made their initial appearances before Special District Judge Carson Brooks. The two calmly and quietly listened as the judge told  them they had a right to a preliminary hearing, as well as a trial deliberated by 12 jurors. Both were barely audible as they answered the judge’s questions concerning their names and the birth dates — Knox,  04/19/1999 and Cohee, 12/11/1998.
But the calm exterior began to dissolve as the judge read the contents of the first-degree murder charge filed against them Tuesday morning by District Attorney Craig  Ladd.   
Knox began to shake his head no and the teens’ show of emotion began to match those of several of members of  their families and supporters who filled the courtroom, as the judge detailed the charge.
The formal charge includes  “... on the evening of Sept. 19, 2015, Evan Knox drove Tyrik Cohee to Carmell Stollby’s residence ..... while knowing that Cohee was armed with a weapon and intended to shoot Stollby. Knox stopped the vehicle near Stollby’s residence to permit  Cohee to exit the vehicle for the purpose of Cohee shooting Stollby and then after Cohee exited the vehicle, Cohee did approach the back door of Stollby’s residence, knock on the door, and when Stollby  came to the door and opened the door, Cohee did then and there, with malice aforethought and a premeditated design to effect Stollby’s death, shot Stollby in the head with a .25 caliber handgun ... after shooting Stollby, Çohee returned to the passenger seat of the vehicle  being operated by Knox , at which time Knox did drive Cohee away from the area of the murder ...”
Emotion displayed on their faces during the reading of the charge turned to shock as the judge set their bonds at $1.5 million each and stipulated if either or both of them managed to post bond they would be required to wear an ankle monitor. In addition, Brooks set a preliminary conference for 2 p.m. Oct. 29 and a reliminary hearing at 1 p.m. Dec. 18.
Local attorney Bebe Bridges represented Cohee during the initial arraignment but she is not listed as his attorney of record on court documents. Knox was not represented by an attorney during the hearing. Brooks told both teens their parents could hire legal representation or if that were not possible they could apply for court appointed attorneys. But the judge cautioned if they needed to make application for court appointed attorneys they needed to do so within the next seven days.
The courtroom was cleared before Knox and Cohee were escorted out of the building. A man, identified as Knox’s stepfather, assured the teenager he loved him. Cohee’s father urged his son to “tell her everything,” referring to Bridges. Both families encouraged the defendants to “stay strong.”
While both teenagers are charged as adults, due to their ages they were returned to the LeFlore County Juvenile Detention, located at Talihina where they have been detained since their arrest by Ardmore Police early Sunday morning.
If convicted they face sentences of life in prison or life in prison without the possibility of parole. Ladd confirmed late Tuesday due to their ages neither face the possibility of a death penalty sentence.
Several teenagers, identified as AHS students, appeared outside the courtroom Tuesday minutes before the proceedings began. The group was not allowed in the courtroom and sources said they were dispersed back to their classes. Both Cohee and Knox were sophomores at Ardmore High School. Cohee was a member of the high school football team and scored a touchdown in the win over Gainesville Friday night.
Ardmore Superintendent of School Sonny Bates talked with Ardmoreite reporter Michael Pineda Tuesday about how the murder was effecting the football team and student body.
“I met with (coach) Josh Newby this morning,” Bates said. “He said yesterday, practice was a little tentative, a little quiet. They went through the game plan but you could tell there was a little stillness that was unusual for a practice.
“Today was a little more routine. Counselors are still at school but there was a calm. It was a little better than yesterday. It will take time but we will get there.”
Bates said neither Cohee nor Knox had behavior issues at school that could be seen as a red flag.
“Matter of fact, I hear so many kids and teachers say they were totally surprised. They just don’t fit the profile,” Bates said.
“We are trying to heal. There is a lot of wondering what will happen next. But everyone is safe. School began smoothly and ended smoothly.”
Funeral services for 18-year-old Stollby were announced Tuesday. The service will be 2 p.m. Saturday in Crystal Rock Cathedra. Interment to follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park.