Manuel Daniel Jr. was formally arraigned in Jackson County District Court yesterday, Sept. 13, for the first-degree murder of Melissa Bost. Bost’s body was discovered Feb. 28, in a vehicle in the alley of the 1000 block of East Sutherland here in Altus. Evidence led Altus Police detectives to believe that Bost’s body had been moved from the murder scene.
Extensive interviews led APD to 907 South Baucum, Daniel’s residence, where several forms of evidence was collected. The evidence, including DNA, has been analyzed by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) lab. Police Chief Tim Murphy said, “We suspect this is where Melissa Bost was murdered.” On May 18, results from the forensic evidence, from the O.S.B.I. lab, confirmed APD’s suspicions. Testimony and evidence presented at Daniel’s preliminary hearing was determined sufficient for him to be bound over for trial.
Daniel told Judge Richard Darby yesterday that he was pleading “not guilty” to the charge. Daniel was to have had his pre-trial hearing on Sept. 14. If he wished to have a jury trial, it could be placed on the fall docket. That would have meant his trial could have begun in three weeks. But both Daniel and his attorney wished to delay the proceedings until the spring docket. Daniel waived his right to a speedy trial and Judge Darby set Daniel’s pre-trial hearing for Friday, March 8, 2013. Daniel was remanded into the custody of the Jackson County Jail.