MCALESTER — Authorities say a man who was convicted of raping a child but received a sentence amounting to one year in jail has died.
Pittsburg County Sheriff Joel Kerns told the McAlester News Capital that David Earls died about 2:30 p.m. Saturday at a McAlester hospital, where he was taken after developing flu-like symptoms.
Earls was expected to face trial on a 2009 grand jury indictment charging him with lewd and indecent acts with a child under 16.
The indictment came after Earls was sentenced to 20 years in prison with the final 19 years suspended in a 2008 child rape case. With time served, Earls was nearing a release date on the one-year sentence when he was indicted.
Earls' one-year sentence created national headlines and plenty of controversy including bomb and death threats and additional accusations of molestation by Earls' relatives. Earls was 64 at the time of his conviction.
Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera commented, “I will not weep if something happens to David Earls.”