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Oklahoma crime briefs for March 28, 2013

Oklahoma crime briefs for March 28.
Published: March 28, 2013

crime briefs


Suspect to face death penalty

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against a man accused of raping and strangling a neighbor and then hiding in her attic, court papers show. Dartangan Darnell Cotton, 21, of Oklahoma City, is charged with first-degree murder in the Sept. 6, 2011, death of Paula Martin, 56. Prosecutors also charged Cotton with two counts of first-degree rape and said in a bill of particulars filed Wednesday they are asking for the death penalty because the crimes against Martin were “heinous, atrocious or cruel” and Cotton poses “a continuing threat to society” if released. Oklahoma City police officers found Cotton inside Martin's home at 524 SW 48 when he fell from the attic through the living room ceiling. Cotton also faces a first-degree burglary charge, which prosecutors amended to show he intended to rape Martin when he entered her home through the garage while she was inside.


Shawnee man accused of rape

A Shawnee man was arrested on multiple complaints after a woman told Oklahoma City police he raped her. Ira B. Spells Jr., 52, was arrested on complaints of rape, possession of a firearm, driving under revocation, driving under suspension, drug paraphernalia violation and possession of marijuana. Spells also was detained on an outstanding Seminole County warrant alleging domestic abuse assault and battery. Police responded about 5:25 p.m. Tuesday to a report that a man was attacking a woman in the 1300 block of NW 105, according to the police report. The woman said Spells forced her into his car at NW 105 and Western Avenue near Bridgeport Apartments and forced her to undress and have sex with him in the car. Spells was taken to the Oklahoma County jail. His bail was set at $29,000.


Student faces weapons charges

Campus police arrested a Putnam City North sophomore Wednesday morning after school officials received reports of a student bringing weapons on school property, school district spokesman Steve Lindley said. Officials searched his backpack and found a handgun, two ceremonial swords about 6 to 8 inches long, a knife and a bundle of fireworks, Lindley said. The student was arrested on four complaints of possession of a weapon on school property. Lindley did not release the student's name. Campus police also found lantern oil, a sock soaked in lantern oil, fireworks and a fuse in the drainage ditch outside the school. Lindley said campus police are investigating the incident, but it doesn't appear the student brought weapons to school to harm other students.

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