Exactly one year to the day after the murder of Rick Swan, a jury convicted his stepson, Kevin Foster.
For Foster, who was accused of killing his stepfather and burning the body, the jury recommended life without parole.
Foster, 33, was convicted of first degree murder, first degree arson, desecration of a corpse, and robbery with a dangerous weapon following the death of 60-year old Rick Swan.
At the conclusion of the trial, law enforcement agencies praised the efforts of those involved.
“The outcome of this trial demonstrates the importance of professional and collaborative policing. I am proud of all the members of the law enforcement agencies who worked together on this case to secure justice and closure for the Swan family,” said Claremore Police Chief Stan Brown.
While battling a fire in a travel trailer parked in a barn, firefighters discovered a body and requested law enforcement help in November, 2018.
Rogers County Sheriff’s Office records state that they believed the individual was “the victim of a violent death” with a wound on the abdomen that appeared to be either a bullet wound or stab wound.
According to RCSO, the investigator for the medical examiner’s office, said “she believed the victim was likely dead before the fire started because the victim was not in the fetal position.”
At that time, an investigator for the Oklahoma Fire Marshal reportedly told RCSO he believed the fire was intentionally set as there were accelerants at the scene.
The information was included in a warrant for the arrest of Kevin Foster.
Foster had been reportedly involved in an ongoing civil dispute with a Rogers County man, the owner of the barn and RV involved in the fire.
Records show that part of the dispute between the two involved “the cemetery plot where the man's late wife is buried and where the man was to be buried upon his death. He alleged that Foster filed sham legal documents to Tulsa County to fraudulently claim ownership of the plots and replaced a headstone that displayed [the victim's] name with a headstone that does not.”
Thursday, after investigating the scene of the fire, law enforcement went to the man's burial plot at a Claremore cemetery and “found that the second headstone displaying his name had been kicked or knocked over in a matter that officers believed to be vandalism.”
A witness reportedly told officers they saw an individual in the cemetery for roughly 30 minutes before they “left in a hurry.” Officers said the description given was consistent with Foster.
According to RCSO records, investigators were told the relationship between the two men “could not be more strained.” Additionally, they were told that [the man] “scored a major victory in the civil suit against Foster a week prior and that they expected an even larger victory in court at the hearing that was to occur that afternoon.”