• Undersheriff, chief deputy unexpectedly retiring from Tulsa County Sheriff's Office

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Jan 12, 2016

    Acting Undersheriff Rick Weigel and Chief Deputy John Bowman unexpectedly announced Tuesday morning they are retiring from the Tulsa County Sheriff's Office. Weigel assumed duties and responsibilities of the sheriff after Stanley Glanz resigned at the end of September following a grand jury inquiry into the Sheriff's Office. Bowman told the Tulsa World his last day is Tuesday, but he will use vacation days until Feb. 23 when his retirement will take effect. He said Weigel's last day will be Wednesday. Weigel then will take about two weeks of vacation before his retirement is official, Bowman said.

  • Oklahoma City will not be a future venue for a Tulsa-based producer of Broadway-style shows

    By Kyle Schwab Staff Writer kschwab@oklahoman.com | Published: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton ruled against Celebrity Attractions, the longtime presenter of the "Best of Broadway" series in Oklahoma City that was denied a permit to put on shows at the Oklahoma City Civic Center in 2016-17.

  • Man arrested for hit-and-run allegedly tells police he drank '10 beers'

    BY KYLE HINCEY, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    A man accused of rear-ending a vehicle in east Tulsa and leaving the scene reportedly told police he consumed 10 beers before the crash. Jose Francisco Rodriguez-Nieto, 23, allegedly crashed into a vehicle near 31st Street and Garnett Road on Saturday and left the scene. The driver of the other vehicle complained of a neck injury, according to an arrest report. Investigators identified Rodriguez-Nieto as the driver of the vehicle that caused the crash. When police interviewed him, he reportedly had red, watery eyes, slurred speech and smelled of alcohol. An open beer container was found inside his vehicle, officers reported.

  • Pursuit leads to arrests of two teens who allegedly attacked, robbed churchgoer in midtown Tulsa

    BY KYLE HINCHEY, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    Two female teenagers who led police on a pursuit were arrested after reportedly attacking a woman in the parking lot of a midtown Catholic church and stealing her vehicle Sunday evening. The woman told police she was sitting in her 2010 Chevrolet Tahoe in the Church of St. Mary parking lot near 49th Place and Quincy Avenue about 7 p.m. after attending a service. Two teenage girls reportedly opened the driver’s side door, punched the woman in the face and pulled her out of the SUV. The girls entered the vehicle and drove away, police said.

  • Officials say state shelter's closing resulting in children waiting in offices, police cars, for hours

    BY GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    The closure of the Laura Dester Shelter has caused some foster children to be removed from their homes to wait for hours in office buildings and cars at odd times while placements can be found, say Tulsa police and prosecutors. The Oklahoma Department of Human Services agreed to shutter the state’s two emergency shelters for abused and neglected children as part of the Pinnacle Plan, which is the improvement plan from a negotiated settlement agreement to a federal lawsuit approved in 2011. It began implementation the following year in many areas such as caseloads, worker pay, shelter use and number of child transitions. Oklahoma City’s shelter officially closed in November.

  • Tulsa man convicted of child sex abuse for second time gets life sentence

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    A Tulsa County judge on Monday sentenced a man to life in prison without parole for sexually abusing a 14-year-old family member while he was on probation for sexually abusing a minor child. District Judge Sharon Holmes’ sentence for Jimmy Lee Fields, 70, followed the recommendation of a jury that  convicted him  Dec. 4 of one count of child sex abuse after a previous conviction of the same crime. Fields’ second child sex abuse charge was filed when a 14-year-old family member reported in November 2014 that Fields had inappropriately touched her on multiple occasions over the course of the summer, according to an affidavit.

  • Tulsa County Sheriff's Office has same 'political patronage' appraisers months after Glanz resignation

    BY JARREL WADE, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jan 11, 2016

    The Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office said no changes or new appointments have been made to the agency’s assessors appointed by former Sheriff Stanley Glanz, who dubbed his appointments “political patronage” before leaving office. It’s been eight months since the Tulsa World first reported friends and family of Glanz had earned up to $51,000 per year for the equivalent of one day of work per week appraising foreclosed property. Sheriff’s Office spokesman Justin Green said Undersheriff Rick Weigel, who has helmed the office since Glanz’s departure in September, has made no changes to the appraiser staff and doesn’t plan to before an April special election to select a new sheriff.

  • Cain's Ballroom breaks sales record in 2015

    BY JERRY WOFFORD, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jan 8, 2016

    Cain’s Ballroom held on to its place in the top 20 club venues in the world in 2015, selling a record number of tickets in the last year. The BOK Center also ranked among the top arena venues in the world, according to data released by the concert industry trade publication Pollstar. Pollstar reported Friday that Cain’s sold 130,641 tickets in 2015, putting it at 17th in the world among venues with a capacity of 3,000 or fewer. Cain’s capacity is 1,800.

  • Judge vacates first-degree manslaughter conviction against Steven Jameson

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jan 8, 2016

    A Tulsa County judge on Friday ruled in favor of a man seeking relief from a 24-year prison sentence for a manslaughter conviction stemming from a 2009 triple-fatality car crash. Though District Judge James Caputo ruled to vacate Steven Wade Jameson’s conviction and sentence, the 26-year-old will remain in custody pending an appeal from prosecutors. Jameson was convicted of manslaughter in the deaths of Michael Mulanax, 42; Angela Mulanax, 41; and their son, James Mulanax, who were killed in a two-vehicle collision Dec. 24, 2009.

  • Delay granted in former Tulsa police officer's murder trial

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Fri, Jan 8, 2016

    Days before his murder trial was scheduled to begin, a former Tulsa police officer was granted a delay Thursday as he seeks a new judge to try the case. Shannon James Kepler, 55, was scheduled to begin trial Monday but was granted the delay to allow time to challenge a judge’s refusal to step down from the case. Kepler is charged in the Aug. 5, 2014, death of 19-year-old Jeremey Lake, who was shot outside his aunt’s residence in the 200 block of North Maybelle Avenue. Kepler also faces two counts of shooting with intent to kill pertaining to his adopted daughter, Lisa Kepler, and Lake’s younger brother, Michael Hamilton.

  • Former Tulsa high school gym teacher convicted of outraging public decency

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jan 7, 2016

    A former high school gym teacher and coach who was accused of inappropriately touching a female student has surrendered his teaching license and pleaded guilty to misdemeanor outraging public decency. Wade Weller, 51, was initially charged in Tulsa County District Court with sexual battery, but prosecutors dropped the felony charge Wednesday in exchange for the plea. "After speaking with the victim and after discussing the case, we felt that the conditions of this plea were in the best interest of justice, given the facts of the case and the condition of his resignation of the teaching license," said Assistant District Attorney Ben Fu.

  • Craigslist post alleges murder in Tulsa; police investigating

    BY STACY RYBURN, Tulsa World | Published: Thu, Jan 7, 2016

    Police think whoever posted on Craigslist about committing a murder in Tulsa most likely did so as a hoax, but investigators are taking it seriously just in case. At 12:22 p.m. Saturday, someone posted a cryptic message titled “tulsa murder” to the personals section of Tulsa-area Craigslist, claiming to have committed a murder and that more killings were on the way. “i was wanting to thank Tulsa for letting me have my first kill, it all started here so was thinking it should be also my first, i was nervous as hell but i will get over it, it was a stranger on stranger so the police will have a difficult time, it will not be my last thou, thinking about going to okc for next, to the people who started it all Julie Free (D.O.C.), Judge Glassco,” the post reads in full.

  • Oklahoma news briefs for Jan. 8, 2016

    From Staff Reports | Published: Thu, Jan 7, 2016

    Oklahoma news briefs for Jan. 8, 2016

  • Refiled civil suits allege Robert Bates used excessive force amid atmosphere of cronyism fostered by ex-sheriff

    BY COREY JONES, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jan 6, 2016

    Civil lawsuits alleging that former Tulsa County Reserve Deputy Robert Bates used excessive force in the fatal shooting of one man and the use of a stun gun on another were refiled Wednesday, a month after a judge dismissed their claims on procedural grounds. One of the suits alleges that Bates was improperly trained and supervised and accuses former Sheriff Stanley Glanz of turning a "blind eye to these dangers … to allow his friend and financial benefactor to 'play cop' in the streets of Tulsa County." Attorney Dan Smolen filed the suits separately on behalf of Terry Byrum and the estate of Eric Harris seeking in excess of $75,000 in actual and punitive damages for use of excessive force and supervisor or official capacity liability. Harris' estate also is seeking damages for deliberate indifference to serious medical needs.

  • Judge orders back-to-back life sentences without parole for double-murder

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jan 6, 2016

    A Tulsa County judge on Wednesday imposed back-to-back no-parole life sentences for a Tulsa man convicted of shooting two people to death outside his home in August 2014. Isaac Luna Ashton, 23, was sentenced for the August 2014 deaths of 21-year-olds Verdell Walker and Tiara Sawyer. District Judge Bill LaFortune imposed consecutive sentences of life without parole for each of two counts of first-degree murder and a 30-day jail term for a misdemeanor count of carrying a weapon unlawfully.

  • Two men arrested for allegedly tossing drugs into Tulsa halfway house

    BY STACY RYBURN, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jan 6, 2016

    Two men were arrested Tuesday after one of them allegedly tossed methamphetamine over the fence of a downtown Tulsa halfway home and the other was found to be in possession of drugs and paraphernalia. Edmond Cadiente, 26, and Devin Martin, 22, were both arrested just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, Tulsa Jail records indicate. According to Cadiente's arrest report, Tulsa police were dispatched to Tulsa Transitional Center, formerly Avalon Correctional Center, 302 W. Archer St., after security there caught Cadiente and Martin allegedly dropping off drugs.

  • Judge imposes life sentence for Tulsa woman convicted of murder, kidnapping

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Wed, Jan 6, 2016

    A Tulsa County judge on Wednesday imposed a life sentence for a Tulsa woman convicted in a 2013 kidnapping and homicide. Angel Marie Proctor, 31, was sentenced in the death of 34-year-old Quinton Shaver, as well as three counts of kidnapping and two counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon. District Judge James Caputo imposed consecutive sentences of life for one count of first-degree felony murder; 10 years for each of three counts of kidnapping; 10 years for one count of assault and battery with a deadly weapon and five years for the second assault count.

  • Ambulance service mascot Perry Medic likes making children happy in Oklahoma

    By Henry Dolive For The Oklahoman | Updated: Tue, Jan 5, 2016

    After an absence of nearly a decade, Perry Medic is on the job again for EMSA, the ambulance service that serves the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metro areas. The pleasant-faced, larger-than-life mascot appears at schools, hospitals, public events and just about any place where a happy countenance might be needed.

  • Tulsa man accused of murdering 5-year-old son during police stand-off found competent

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Tue, Jan 5, 2016

    A Tulsa man accused of murdering his 5-year-old son during a police standoff has been found competent to stand trial and on Tuesday waived his right to a preliminary hearing. Bryon Keith Creech, 37, is scheduled to return to court Monday for a district court arraignment before Tulsa County District Judge Doug Drummond. Creech is charged with first-degree murder in the March 19 death of his son, Braydon. Creech also faces counts of shooting with intent to kill, kidnapping, child abuse, child neglect, second-degree burglary and violating a protective order.

  • Former Tulsa police officer's murder trial set for next week

    BY ARIANNA PICKARD, Tulsa World | Published: Mon, Jan 4, 2016

    A former Tulsa police officer's murder trial remains set for next week despite his request to delay proceedings. Shannon Kepler, 55, is scheduled to be in court Jan. 11 for his first-degree murder trial in the death of 19-year-old Jeremey Lake, who was shot in August 2014 while Kepler was off duty. The trial date stands after Tulsa County District Judge Sharon Holmes on Monday denied the defense's request to stay proceedings. The request was filed with a notice of intent to appeal her  Dec. 28 denial  of a defense motion asking her to withdraw from the case.