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.
TIM WILLERT, STAFF WRITER
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.
LEIGHANNE MANWARREN, STAFF WRITER
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.
LEIGHANNE MANWARREN, STAFF WRITER
Officers cleared in shooting
Authorities say two law enforcement officers in Mayes County have been cleared to return to work after the fatal shooting of a handcuffed man. Police Chief Vince Stoyanoski says a preliminary report has cleared the two officers in the Jan. 29 shooting death of William Joseph Perneau, 29. Authorities say officers were trying to interview Perneau in a motel room as part of a drug investigation when he managed to pull a gun from his waistband and fired at the officers. The officers weren't hit. A Salina police officer returned fire, killing Perneau. Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said the officers' names won't be released unless they are arrested or charged.
Jailers are investigated
Two Ottawa County jailers are the subject of an “official misconduct” investigation, according to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. OSBI spokeswoman Jessica Brown said the investigation was opened Friday at the request of Ottawa County Sheriff Terry Durborow. Detective Derek Derwin, sheriff's spokesman, declined to comment on the specific allegations. The names of the two jailers have not been released.
SHEILA STOGSDILL, FOR THE OKLAHOMAN