Man will face trial in murder case
A man accused of raping and strangling a neighbor and then hiding in her attic will face trial, a judge ruled Wednesday. Dartangan Darnell Cotton, 21, of Oklahoma City, is charged with first-degree murder in the in the Sept. 6, 2011, death of Paula Martin, 56. Prosecutors amended their case against Cotton to include two counts of first-degree rape and said they will ask 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
Student is target of shot near campus
A student at Emerson Alternative High School was the target of gunfire near the school Tuesday morning, a spokeswoman for the school district said. The student was off campus when someone shot into the vehicle the student was in, shattering a window. No one was hurt in the shooting, the spokeswoman said.
CARRIE COPPERNOLL, STAFF WRITER
Teacher, 24, accused of lewd acts
A substitute middle schoolteacher is accused of exchanging lewd photos and having inappropriate online conversations with students at Choctaw Middle School. David Griggs, 24, is charged in Oklahoma County with lewd acts with a child under 16. According to an affidavit filed by sheriff's deputies, Griggs told investigators he sent a 15-year-old girl a picture of his genitals and talked her into sending him photos of her buttocks in underwear. The girl told deputies Griggs also sent her text messages talking about sex. Attempts to reach Griggs by phone Wednesday were unsuccessful. The father of a 14-year-old student called police after his daughter had a Facebook conversation with Griggs in which he referenced “cuddling” with the girl. Griggs was a substitute teacher and coach at the school when the conversations took place and the photos were exchanged last year. According to the report, Griggs said he also received photos of a 15- or 16-year-old girl in Holdenville.
BRYAN DEAN, STAFF WRITER
Ex-postal worker receives sentence
A former Grove and Claremore U.S. Postal Service employee charged with sexually assaulting a Rogers County woman pleaded guilty to reduced assault charges and received a two-year suspended sentence, court officials said Wednesday. James Monroe Bullis Sr., 48, of Claremore, was in Rogers County District Court on Monday for trial on two counts of assault and battery by strangulation and rape by instrumentation and sexual battery. Instead, he entered pleas to two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault and battery and was sentenced to a one-year suspended sentence on each charge. The sentences are to run consecutively, online court records show.
SHEILA STOGSDILL, FOR THE OKLAHOMAN