NORMAN — A man who threatened the lives of Gov. Mary Fallin's child and numerous law enforcement officials in an email to an Oklahoma City television station “has lost pretty much everything in the past couple of years,” McClain County Sheriff Don Hewett told The Oklahoman.
Scott Neil Helling, 49, was charged last week in Cleveland County with two felonies for using his computer to threaten the lives of Fallin's unnamed child, Hewett and a McClain County sheriff's deputy.
According to an affidavit filed by Josh Dean, an agent with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, Hewett was the focus of Helling's threats and anger.
Dean wrote in an affidavit that Helling believed Hewett “was responsible for killing his son as well as stealing $65,000 worth of firearms from him.”
“Helling wanted to point a gun at Hewett and place him under citizen's arrest,” Dean wrote in the affidavit. “If Sheriff Hewett ‘flinched' after Helling pointed his gun at him, then Helling was going to shoot and kill him.”
Hewett denied the allegations made by Helling, who the sheriff described as “apparently very troubled.”
“I've never met the guy,” he said. “If I did meet him, it was purely by accident and I surely don't recall it.”
Hewett said he's learned from OSBI agents that Helling is a former Okahoma Gas and Electric Co. worker who “has lost pretty much everything in the past couple of years.”
“From what I've been told, he's lost his family, his home ... pretty much everything in the last two or three years,” the sheriff said. “I think he's frustrated with his life and he's looking for somebody to direct his anger at. I guess it's me for whatever reason.”
Hewett said investigators think Helling has been struggling with an addiction to drugs, although he wasn't sure what type of drugs.
As for Helling's son, described by the suspect as being dead, Hewett said he doesn't believe that to be true.
“His son, the last information I had, is alive and well at a drug rehab center in Texas,” he said.
Hewett said OSBI agents interviewed Helling about the threats. He said an email was sent by Helling to KFOR-4, the local NBC affiliate, on the afternoon of June 5.
“They notified us right away ... the people who were named in the email,” Hewett said. “There were several names, mostly police officers and troopers, not just me and the governor's child.”
Helling, who told investigators he sent the emails from the Norman Public Library, was arrested June 7 in Norman on “unrelated warrants,” records show. He remains in custody at the Cleveland County jail.
Since 2012, the suspect has been arrested several times for public intoxication in McClain County, where he apparently lived for many years with his family without incident.
“Since all of this happened, I've learned that he used to live about a mile from me ... I remember seeing his OG&E truck parked out front for years,” Hewett said. “It was a nice brick house.”
Less than two weeks ago, three people sought protective orders against Helling in McClain County. Court records show that his wife recently filed for divorce.
“In my personal opinion, the guy just needs a massive amount of help,” Hewett said.