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Bond denied for 4 'God's Misfits' defendants in the killing of 2 Kansas women

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LA Post: Bond denied for 4 'God's Misfits' defendants in the killing of 2 Kansas women
April 17, 2024
AP

GUYMON, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma judge ordered public defenders to represent four members of an anti-government group who appeared in court Wednesday on charges of kidnapping and killing two Kansas women.

The judge also entered not-guilty pleas and denied bail for Tifany Adams, 54, and her boyfriend Tad Cullum, 43, both of Keyes, Oklahoma, as well as Cole and Cora Twombly of Texhoma, Oklahoma.

Texas County Associate District Judge Clark Jett assigned the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System to represent all four defendants, OIDS Executive Director Tim Laughlin told The Associated Press. Laughlin declined to comment about any details of the case or the defendants, citing his agency's policy.

“The reason we don’t comment is to protect our client’s privileges and our client’s interest throughout the trial process,” Laughlin said.

All four are charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping and conspiracy in the killing of 27-year-old Veronica Butler and 39-year-old Jilian Kelley of Hugoton, Kansas. Kelley, a pastor's wife, went along as a court-approved observer to supervise the visit on March 30. They never showed up for the party, setting off a two week search that ended with the two couples' arrests on Saturday and the discovery of the bodies on Sunday.

Adams is the children’s grandmother, and authorities say she was in a bitter custody dispute with Butler.

Arrest affidavits painted a gruesome picture of the scene where women's car was found, not far from the rural highway intersection where Butler had arranged to pick up her son and daughter from Adams. Investigators found blood on the road and Butler’s glasses near a broken hammer.

According to a witness who spoke to Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents, all four suspects were part of “an anti-government group that had a religious affiliation." The affidavits said they called themselves “God’s Misfits” and held regular meetings at the home of the Twomblys and another couple who Adams said watched the children the day the women disappeared.

Relatives of Tad Cullum and the Twomblys have not returned phone messages seeking comment. Tifany Adams’ stepmother, Elise Adams, said she had no information to share.

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