Questions over a Missouri woman’s involvement in helping her murder suspect boyfriend escape capture while in Pauls Valley are still in play.
It comes with a judge’s ruling the then 19-year-old Athena Venable might have aided Billy Sage Medley by asking for a ride to go sell two guns for money after they arrived in Pauls Valley last fall.
At the time Medley was on the run as one of multiple suspects sought for the murders of Joe and Brandy Allen at their residence in Tunas, Mo., back on Sept. 30, 2018.
Tracking a cell phone authorities finally found Medley and Venable on Oct. 9 at the Pauls Valley house where a childhood friend of Medley lived.
Pauls Valley’s police chief, Mitch McGill, testified during a recent court hearing in a Garvin County District courtroom he and another officer spoke with Venable on the day of the arrest.
“She explained she was in love with Medley,” McGill said.
“She knew he was wanted for murder but didn’t believe he had committed the murder. She felt he was not the one who shot them.”
Instead, Venable told officer she believed a second man, not Medley, had fired the shots that killed the Missouri couple.
According to the chief, Venable admitted once they got to Pauls Valley in their journey from Missouri asking for where they could go to sell guns in exchange for money to eat.
She also asked for a ride as a group of four individuals drove to a residence “out by the animal park.”
There they sold two .22 caliber guns “so they could get something to eat” as Venable claimed to stay in a vehicle as the exchange was made. From there they drove to a Pauls Valley drive-in restaurant for food.
McGill said Venable then claimed she and Medley had no plan for escape as they knew there was nowhere to run.
“She stated they were going to be dropped off on the interstate and wait for the police to pick them up,” he said.
“She loved him and wanted to spend as much time as possible before he went to prison. She knew he was going to prison.
“They were going to camp out by the interstate until they were caught.”
Arguments from a prosecutor focused on Venable willingly helping out Medley, while her defense attorney said there was no real evidence to show she had done anything wrong.
“She knew he was wanted for murder,” said Laura McClain, assistant district attorney in Garvin County.
“She was aware of what was going on.”
“It’s a lot of they’s and them’s,” Arlan Bullard countered as Venable and two supporters in the courtroom listened during the preliminary hearing.
“There’s nothing specific here to show she aided Mr. Medley. What did she do to further him along as a fugitive?
“There is zero evidence of a plan. There’s a lot of squishy facts here.”
Garvin County Special District Judge Trisha Misak ruled the case against Venable will move forward on more specific terms, such as the allegation Venable aided Medley by requesting transportation to go sell a couple of guns so could have enough money to eat.
A formal arraignment in the harboring a fugitive case has been set for Sept. 16.