Man gets life sentence in girl's death
DALLAS — A North Texas man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a 10-year-old Oklahoma City girl as she and her family visited relatives near Dallas. Prosecutors say Jose Sifuentes, 24, of Carrollton, pleaded guilty Monday to murder in the slaying of Jasmen Gonzalez. He entered the plea as his capital murder trial was to begin in Dallas. Sifuentes is eligible to seek parole in 30 years. Jasmen was abducted from a bedroom at a relative's apartment in Carrollton, stabbed and her body was dumped several blocks away. Police say the victim's father is the godfather to Sifuentes' wife. Sifuentes was among the adults present when the girl went to bed. A knife recovered by police carried the girl's blood and the attacker's DNA.
Trial is ordered in multiple slayings
An Oklahoma County judge has found probable cause for trial for a man charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of a prostitute featured on HBO's “Cathouse” series and three other people. Special Judge Fred Doak handed down the ruling at the end of a preliminary hearing for Denny Edward Phillips, 34. Phillips is charged in the death of Brooke Phillips, 22, who had worked for a legal Nevada brothel featured on HBO. She was not related to Denny Phillips. The other victims were Milagros Barrera, 22, Jennifer Ermey, 25, and Casey Mark Barrientos, 32. Phillips faces six counts of murder because Brooke Phillips and Barrera were pregnant when they were killed. Doak ordered Phillips to be tried on all charges. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Traffic stop yields two meth arrests
Two California men were arrested after an Oklahoma City police officer found 11 pounds of crystal meth in their car, police reported Tuesday. An officer pulled over a car about 3:20 p.m. Sunday at Interstate 40 and S Council Road for a traffic violation. Suspicious circumstances led the officer to search the car, where he found the meth in a cardboard box, according to the incident report. Juan Carlos Montano, 27, of South Gate, Calif., and Oscar Edel Melendrez, 28, of Cudahy, Calif., were arrested on complaints of aggravated trafficking of a controlled and dangerous substance. Montano and Melendrez were booked into the Oklahoma County jail with bail set at $25,000 each.
LEIGHANNE MANWARREN, STAFF WRITER
Day care worker is sentenced in abuse
OKEMAH — A former Creek Nation day care worker was sentenced to eights months in the Okfuskee County jail for deliberately putting hot sauce on a toddler's plate of green beans and laughing while he cried out in pain, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Rosie Hicks, 50, of Okemah, pleaded guilty Thursday in Okfuskee County District Court to one count of child abuse by injury and no contest to another count of child abuse by injury. The state dropped a third count of attempted child abuse, District Attorney Maxey Riley said. Tracy Owens, 37, of Boley, a co-worker also charged with child abuse by injury, is scheduled to go to trial March 11, online court records show. Owens confessed to police that she bought a bottle of habanero hot sauce at Hicks' request and watched her put the sauce on the toddler's lunch plate on March 7. A 66-minute video of the incident shows the 13-month-old child crying and Hicks laughing, before the workers wiped the toddler's mouth with a wet cloth, the affidavit states.
SHEILA STOGSDILL, FOR THE OKLAHOMAN