TULSA – Attorney General Hunter today announced his office has charged two individuals with first degree murder for their role in the brutal 1983 murder of Anthony Baltes.
The formal charges in the nearly four decades old case come a day after the state multicounty grand jury indicted Erlene Lee, 58, who currently lives in Texas, and Willie Moore, 61, who currently lives in Wyoming.
According to the Tulsa Police Department, Baltes was discovered dead inside his motel room on Sept. 18, 1983. He had been tied up and sustained blunt force trauma. Robbery appeared to be the motive in his death.
Attorney General Hunter said advances in DNA technology allowed prosecutors to present DNA evidence to grand jurors that linked the two to the crime scene.
“Anthony Baltes died a horrible death 36 years ago, but that passage of time doesn’t mean those responsible aren’t going to be held accountable,” Attorney General Hunter said. “Thanks to advances in DNA technology and our law enforcement partners joining in our efforts, we have been able to clear many cold cases. Securing convictions on cold cases is difficult. That is why we appreciate our law enforcement partners, like Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler and the Tulsa Police Department and their commitment to sharing resources and solving cold cases with my office.”
The case was jointly prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office. The investigation was led by the Tulsa Police Department’s Cold Case Unit.
“The multicounty grand jury is one of our state’s best law enforcement tools when trying to solve a case as complex as a cold case,” said District Attorney Kunzweiler. “Thanks to Attorney General Hunter and his team, we were able to secure the indictment and charge these two suspects. Through these efforts, we hope to bring some form of peace to those who have been mourning a loved one’s death for so long.”
To read the charges, click here.