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Oklahoma City police say robbery suspect linked to 4 murders

OKLAHOMA CITY – A man suspected in nearly a dozen armed robberies is now facing murder charges in connection with four deaths in Oklahoma, including two people that the researchers initially thought to have died in a traffic accident, Oklahoma City police said Friday.

Mario Normore, 27, has been jailed for almost a year on 10 counts of robbery with a firearm, involving several companies and two banks, according to court records. On Friday, the police announced that the prosecutors have accepted a police recommendation that Normore also be charged with the four murders.

Formal murder charges still had to be submitted on Friday afternoon, a delay that is not unusual in Oklahoma. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater not immediately return a call from The Associated Press seeking comment. Normore’s lawyer said Friday that he still does not know whether Normore would be faced with more costs.

Normore has pleaded not guilty to the robbery counts and is being held in the Oklahoma County Jail without bond.

Normore is in custody since October on the robbery charges. Later he was linked to four deaths dating back to last year, according to Oklahoma City Police Officer Megan Morgan.

“He is the only suspect now,” said Morgan, a spokeswoman for the police.

Morgan said the cases are the July 2017 death of Bashar Burks, 27, and his girlfriend, Ashley, Easton, 30. The police said Normore has worked with Burks, whose body was found in a burning vehicle that was involved in a crash. At the time, police said his body showed signs of trauma that occurred prior to the crash. Easton’s body showed signs of trauma when it was discovered later in a nearby ditch.

Police are still no details released about the injuries or the case, including some allegedly linked Normore to the death.

Morgan said Normore is also suspected in the death of 21-year-old Searra Howe, who had been missing since August 2017, before her body was found in a field in October, and a 58-year-old Steven James Knowles, who has been missing since October and is presumed dead.

Normore was allegedly a friend of Howe prior to her death, while Knowles was the maintenance man in the apartment complex where Normore lived, according to the police. Details about these cases, including what evidence allegedly links Normore to the victims’ disappearances, not to be released.

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This story is corrected to show Normore will be held on 10 robbery counts, not nine.

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