Tommy K. Whetzell photo

The suspect in a Texas County cold-case murder is free on bond.

Tommie K. Whetzell, 63, of Liberal, is free following an hearing Tuesday that saw bond set at $250,000 cash or surety. Whetzell, is charged with first-degree murder of Ricky Luebbert, 42, of Tyrone. The suspect earlier had been held without bond.

Luebbert’s body was found Nov. 10, 2007, at a residence in the Tyrone area where multiple bullet holes were found in a front window.  An investigation was opened, but the case was never solved. An effort by the Texas County Sheriff’s Department and the national true crime series, “Cold Justice,” led to charges against Whetzell earlier this summer.

Texas County Prosecutor Parke Stevens filed documents Monday that he would not seek the death penalty. The only penalty remaining is life in prison.

A trial setting is expected in the fall. The case is being heard on a change of venue to Phelps County.

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