A grand jury effort officially got underway Monday to look closer into the 2004 death of a Maysville woman now considered a homicide after first being ruled accidental.

The task at hand for 12 jurors with three alternates sitting in is to try and find out more about the circumstance surrounding the death of Sheila Ann Deviney.

Deviney, 30, died on Jan. 6, 2004 when her trailer house, located about one mile east and one mile south of Maysville, burned to the ground.

Initially the death was ruled accidental. That ruling was changed several months later to arson and homicide after a state investigation into cloth and carpet samples near Deviney’s body showed traces of ignitable liquid.

Since that time Deviney’s parents, David and Susan Deviney of Maysville, were successful in getting the required signatures calling for a grand jury investigation into the death.

In addition to jurors, few will fully participate in the closed-door sessions. One who will take part is Garvin County Assistant District Attorney Brant Elmore.

“My role is to advise them to the law and question witnesses if that’s what they want me to do,” Elmore said.

“The jurors and I will be in a room with a court reporter. I’m in there until they begin their deliberations,” he said. “I have no idea how long it will last.”

The filed petition calls for the grand jury to delve deeper into “all aspects of the homicidal death.”

More specifically there are three main areas the investigation is supposed to target.

One is to determine any suspects involved in the death and provide indictments if warranted.

Another is to determine how “full and thorough” the original investigation was in the case.

Last is to locate any evidence removed from the residence soon after Deviney’s death that would have incriminated any suspects.

Officials with the state fire marshal’s office initially ruled the death accidental before later requesting assistance from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation in a more detailed investigation.

The subsequent investigation by OSBI agents resulted in the official cause being changed to homicide.

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