David Lee Kemp in Court - KSWO 7News | Breaking News, Weather and Sports

David Lee Kemp in Court

COMANCHE CO., Okla_ David Lee Kemp was in court Tuesday, which was his appearance since his surrender last week.

Kemp captured national attention while running from the law for 14 years. He escaped from jail before he could be tried for the murders of his ex-wife and her boyfriend back in 1998. Kemp was arraigned at the Comanche County Courthouse to face charges stemming from that escape in 1999.

Kemp turned himself into authorities last Thursday and is expected to stand trial on the double homicide. Tuesday, the district attorney who was set to try the original case along with Kemp's first defense attorney weighed in on what the current prosecutors and the defense are up against.

Both Kemp's family and the family of victim Robert Miller were in the courtroom, and the mood was extremely tense. In fact, after Kemp's brief arraignment, the families exchanged some heated glances and words.

They had to be taken out of the courtroom floor from different directions. As David Lee Kemp walked into the courtroom, he seemed surprisingly calm, given his mysterious past and future behind bars. Robert Schulte was the district attorney back in 1998. While he admits that trying a 14-year-old case is difficult, he believes the current DA's office still has a very strong case. He said Kemp displayed evidence of a guilty state of mind when he was admitted to a psychiatric hospital. He apparently slit his wrists during a suicide attempt in Las Vegas while on the lam. Schulte also said there are numerous witnesses the state can call that can testify Kemp was allegedly stalking his ex-wife Christina Cremer. Schulte does say that there are pitfalls to trying such an old case, such as finding witnesses that have moved on and dealing with the fading memories of the ones that are found.

Kemp's first defense attorney, Brad Cox, agrees that time can make a case harder to prosecute and defend. He said the public needs to remember that Kemp has only been charged and not convicted. He said he can argue that a person guilty of a double homicide, who was able to live free for 14 years, would never turn themselves in, but an innocent person just might. For now, the families of the victims say they want justice, and the state said they're going to work hard to give it to them.

Robert Miller's family said they were surprised that bond was granted in the escape charge, given the nature of this case. They say they want this case to be over, so they can move on. The judge did allow Kemp's father to talk with his son briefly about getting an attorney. Kemp's father said he did not want to make a statement at this time, but he will in the future.

Kemp did not have an attorney, so Judge Allen McCall did not deal with the capital murder case. He did allow Kemp to enter a plea of not guilty for the escape charge because of the lack of legal representation. Judge McCall set Kemp's bond at $50,000. However, bond is still denied in the murder charges. He is set to appear in court again on May 23rd.

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