• Lankford: Changing Washington 'takes strong families, strong churches and strong communities'

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    The federal government is largely a reflection of the nation as a whole, U.S. Sen. James Lankford said Friday while making the rounds of chambers of commerce in Bixby, Broken Arrow and Jenks. "When you look at D.C., that's really what we've become as a nation," Lankford said in Broken Arrow. "Changing it takes strong families, strong churches and strong communities." Lankford said he often leaves audiences with that message.

  • Trial delayed for former sheriff's deputy charged with sexual battery

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    The trial for a former Tulsa County Sheriff's deputy accused of sex crimes involving two women he encountered while on duty has been delayed due to a request from his attorney. The trial for Gerald Nuckolls, 27, was scheduled to begin Monday, but District Judge William LaFortune granted the request Friday and rescheduled the trial for Oct. 12, Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Elmore confirmed. In his request filed Monday in Tulsa County District Court, Nuckolls' attorney Terry Funk stated the main reason for the delay is "an unprecedented chain of medical events" involving members of Funk’s family.

  • Woman shot in head, found dead in car in Tulsa

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Aug 28, 2015

    Tulsa Police are investigating a homicide after a woman was found shot in the head inside a red Camaro early Friday. Police responded to a call at 3:20 a.m. at Fourth Street and Memorial Drive. An intoxicated woman saw the vehicle and body in the driver's seat before calling 911, Sgt. Dave Walker said.  The victim had been driving the car and was making a left turn onto Fourth Street when someone outside the vehicle shot her in the head, Walker said. He said investigators believe the shot most likely came from the driver's side of the car.

  • Gym teacher charged with sexual battery bound for district court arraignment

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    After hearing testimony from the victim and a witness, a Tulsa County judge found that there was probable cause to bind a Booker T. Washington High School teacher over for district court arraignment on a sexual battery charge. Wade Weller, 50, appeared in Tulsa County District Court Thursday for a preliminary hearing, where two students testified on the allegations. A female Booker T. Washington High School student testified that Weller hugged her from behind and grabbed her buttocks in the school’s gym on April 17 while other students were present. The student said she was 17 at the time.

  • Woman tries to stop suspected thief by jumping into his vehicle, Tulsa police say

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    A "concerned citizen" who jumped into a vehicle in an attempt to stop a man who reportedly stole $579 in merchandise from a Lowe's Home Improvement store was pushed out by the driver, according to police. Shortly before 11 a.m. Thursday, a father and his daughter witnessed a man stealing merchandise from Lowe's near 71st Street and Garnett Road and tried to confront him in the parking lot, police said. The suspected thief got into his vehicle, and the father approached the driver's side door, Officer Leland Ashley said. The daughter then entered the vehicle and tossed the stolen merchandise out, Ashley said.

  • Sapulpa police chief sends scathing letter to Tulsa sheriff

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Aug 27, 2015

    A name gaffe in a condolence letter from Sheriff Stanley Glanz to the Sapulpa Police Department after an officer’s recent death elicited a scathing written response from the police chief. The chief also took issue at telephone comments he said were made by a Tulsa County sheriff’s major who reportedly refused to have the Sheriff’s Office handle the investigation at a homicide scene in Sapulpa while all Sapulpa police officers were at the officer’s burial. In his letter, Glanz misidentified the fallen Sapulpa officer, instead using the name of one of the suspects arrested in connection with the lieutenant’s slaying.

  • Donald Trump's continued popularity baffles Sen. Jim Inhofe

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe says he's the wrong guy to ask about the continued popularity of billionaire presidential candidate Donald Trump. "I thought it would last about three days and be over," Inhofe said Wednesday. "People are really wanting something different," Inhofe said during a visit to the Tulsa World. "A group of them likes the things he's saying — and he'll say anything."

  • Police seize 22 pounds of meth at Tulsa traffic stop

    BY STACY RYBURN, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 26, 2015

    Police seized 22 pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop Tuesday near Interstate 44 and South Yale Avenue. Felipe Angel Sanchez, 35, and Veridzanna Carranco-Hernandez, 32, were arrested on complaints of trafficking methamphetamine and are being held at the Tulsa Jail with no bond, jail records indicate. Sanchez also was cited for speeding and having no driver's license. Carranco-Hernandez also was booked on a complaint of possession of a controlled substance. Both have holds placed with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, according to jail records.

  • Tulsa pastor sentenced to seven life sentences for sexually abusing girl

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Aug 24, 2015

    A Tulsa minister was sentenced Monday to seven concurrent life terms in prison for sexually abusing and impregnating a 15-year-old girl. Gregory Ivan Hawkins, 56, was sentenced in Tulsa County District court by Judge James Caputo. Hawkins was charged with seven counts of child sex abuse in Tulsa County in 2013.

  • Broken Arrow homicides: Video cameras found near spot bodies were found, detectives say

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Aug 21, 2015

    The slayings of a Broken Arrow couple and three of their children inside their home last month may have been recorded on video, according to documents filed in Tulsa County District Court late Thursday. Search warrant affidavits and return documents indicate that detectives recovered a computer thumb drive, multiple computers, an external hard drive and surveillance cameras from the home where Robert Bever, 18, and his 16-year-old brother, Michael Bever, are accused of fatally stabbing their parents and three of their siblings late July 22. Detectives reported noticing video surveillance cameras inside the home were “in close proximity” to where three of the bodies were found and said it appeared that the cameras were connected to at least one of the seized computers. The affidavits did not say whether those cameras were activated or whether they captured images of the brothers planning or carrying out the attack.

  • Tulsa man with history of domestic abuse found guilty of murdering girlfriend

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Aug 20, 2015

    Brian Harris’ mother was at work when he called her, saying a fight with his girlfriend had escalated into physical violence and that he thought she might be dead. His mother told him to call 911 and then called the number herself as she sped to his apartment. Two years later, Harris’ mother testified in Tulsa County District Court with her son sitting before her, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ashley Brizendine, who died from strangulation on July 12, 2013. After deliberating for about 2½ hours on Thursday, jurors found 25-year-old Harris guilty and recommended a life sentence with the possibility of parole after serving at least 85 percent, or 38 years, of his term.

  • Woman pleads guilty to manslaughter in alcohol-related crash that killed OU student

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Aug 20, 2015

    A woman charged with manslaughter in a car crash that killed a University of Oklahoma student from Tulsa was taken back to jail after entering a guilty plea Thursday in Tulsa County District Court. Myiasha Brown, 29, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol and causing a multivehicle crash that killed 20-year-old Taylor Witcher and injured two others on July 27, 2014, near the 71st Street bridge over the Arkansas River. Brown, who had been out on bond since February, will be held at the Tulsa Jail until a presentencing investigation is completed and District Judge William Musseman holds a finding and sentencing hearing Sept. 30.

  • Murder charge dismissed against former Tulsa sheriff's deputy who supervised reserve training

    BY SAMANTHA VICENT, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Aug 20, 2015

    A Tulsa County judge on Thursday dismissed a first-degree murder charge against a former Tulsa County sheriff’s deputy who has been linked to a fatal motel shooting and a 2009 internal affairs report about Robert Bates. Warren Cole Crittenden, 44, had been charged Feb. 10 along with Kendrick Logan, 27; Jerome Hardaway, 28; and Dustin Ward, 24, in the Jan. 27 slaying of Michael Jones at the Super 8 Motel near 31st Street and Memorial Drive. He was held at the Tulsa Jail without bond since the day of the shooting, but jail records indicate he posted a $100,000 bond and was released at 11:10 a.m. Thursday. Tulsa County District Judge Bill Musseman ordered that Crittenden be a material witness against his former co-defendants. He will have to wear a GPS monitor and be subject to random drug testing. Crittenden will appear in court again Sept. 10 for his first compliance check, and will be held without bond if he is noncompliant, Musseman said.

  • Tulsa man's murder re-created for Johnny Depp gangster movie

    BY MICHAEL SMITH, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Aug 20, 2015

    The 1981 murder of Roger Wheeler at Tulsa’s Southern Hills Country Club — an assassination in the parking lot on the orders of gangster Whitey Bulger — was re-created and filmed for a new movie about the crime lord being played by Johnny Depp. Whether the scene will appear in “Black Mass” when the final version of the film is released on Sept. 18 is unknown. But a Boston actor who portrayed Wheeler in the movie said he filmed the fatal scene at a country club in Concord, Massachusetts, that was a stand-in for Southern Hills.

  • Suspects arrested in Tulsa homicide; Talala kidnapping and homicide case

    BY KENDRICK MARSHALL, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Aug 19, 2015

    A pair of suspects wanted in recent homicides are in police custody, the Tulsa Police Department announced Wednesday. Jordan Batice Mitchell, 21, of Muskogee, turned himself into custody Wednesday morning on a first-degree murder warrant in the death of Christian DeHart, who was shot and killed Sept. 27, 2013, in Tulsa. Mitchell is accused of partnering with 26-year-old Darrell Lydelle Goff and another man to rob DeHart using semi-automatic assault rifles.

  • Restaurant employees picket Tulsa federal courthouse in support of their boss

    BY RANDY KREHBIEL, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Aug 18, 2015

    The U.S. Department of Labor says Tulsa restaurateur Carlos Aguirre has shorted his employees more than $1 million in wages, overtime and tips. About 80 of those El Tequila employees came to the federal courthouse in Tulsa on Tuesday afternoon to say they disagree. With the second day of Aguirre's trial winding down in U.S. District Judge John Dowdell's courtroom, wait staff in dark slacks and short-sleeve dress shirts, kitchen workers in white T's and long aprons, and even a man in a tall chef's hat crowded onto the sidewalk in front of the Page Belcher Federal Building and spilled onto Fourth Street to demonstrate support for their embattled employer.

  • Tulsa boy, 13, charged with child abuse murder in death of 2-year-old

    BY PAIGHTEN HARKINS, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Aug 18, 2015

    A 13-year-old Tulsa boy has been charged with child abuse murder in the death of his 2-year-old cousin after he reportedly was seen knocking on neighbors’ doors to get her help before she died. Dinero M. Reddick was charged Tuesday in the June death of Charity Simmons after a police investigation of medical evidence, surveillance video, phone records and other evidence linked him to the case, Assistant District Attorney Sarah McAmis said. Any person who is 13 or 14 years old can be charged as an adult in criminal proceedings so long as they are certified as a youthful offender, according to the Oklahoma Juvenile Code.

  • KOTV: Man accidentally shoots self while guarding 'Muslim-free' Oktaha gun store

    Published: Tue, Aug 18, 2015

    The Muskogee County sheriff said a member of the group guarding an Oktaha gun shop accidentally shot himself Tuesday, Tulsa's KOTV reports . Sheriff Charles Pearson told KOTV the man dropped his gun and a bullet hit him in the arm. The sheriff did not identify the man or offer any other details about what happened. NewsOK's Brianna Bailey reported last week that that the Council on American-Islamic Relations has filed a complaint with the U.S. Deptartment of Justice regarding the Save Yourself Survival and Tactical gear store in Oktaha, which has displayed a sign declaring itself a "Muslim-free" business. 

  • Reported noose hanging from ORU's prayer tower was left by painting crew, officials say

    Silas Allen | Updated: Tue, Aug 18, 2015

    Photos of what appears to be a noose hanging from one of the spires of the prayer tower at Oral Roberts University are making a splash on the Internet. But university officials say the rope isn't what it appears to be. A photo of the rope was posted to Twitter on Tuesday morning. Noose hanging this morning from prayer tower at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, OK. @deray @Nettaaaaaaaa pic.twitter.com/C1qJWlcph3 — Tyler S. Bugg (@tsbugg) August 18, 2015 // ORU spokesman Jeremy Burton said the rope was left by a painting crew that has been working on the tower for several days in preparation for the university's 50th anniversary celebrations.

  • Broken Arrow man charged in death of 3-year-old arrested

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Aug 17, 2015

    A Broken Arrow man who is charged in the death of a 3-year-old boy who was in his care has been arrested. Jon Brandon Scarce, 34, was arrested in Tulsa around 7:15 p.m. Monday. He was booked into the Tulsa Jail without bail. Scarce was charged Friday with child-abuse murder in the death of Chance Trepp, 3, of Broken Arrow.