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Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation releases information on Seminole murder case arrest

Stan Florence, director of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said he is looking into solutions to a dispute over open records that began after the agency refused to release documents about the arrest of a Seminole teen charged with murder.
BY BRYAN DEAN bdean@opubco.com Modified: December 11, 2012 at 10:02 pm •  Published: December 12, 2012
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Officials with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation have released information they had previously refused to make public regarding the arrest of a Seminole teenager charged with murder.

OSBI Director Stan Florence said Tuesday he is looking into possible solutions to a dispute over open records that began when the agency's general counsel refused to release documents about the arrest of Jonathan Weaver, 15, who is charged with the Nov. 9 stabbing death of Nicholas Tilley, 16, outside a Seminole High School football game.

The OSBI took over the investigation at the request of Seminole police. The Oklahoman requested arrest documents from the OSBI after a judge sealed an arrest affidavit in the case over concerns that witnesses named in the document had been threatened.

OSBI General Counsel Jimmy Bunn denied that request, arguing that a law making records related to OSBI investigations confidential exempted the agency from the Open Records Act's requirements that law enforcement release records containing facts concerning an arrest and other basic information.

Open government advocates dispute Bunn's interpretation of the law, claiming it would allow the agency to arrest people without telling the public who they arrest or why and going against the foundation of the state's openness laws.

Information released by the OSBI indicates several teenagers fled the area when officers responded and found Tilley with a stab wound to his chest. Weaver was arrested the morning after the incident by Seminole police.

Investigators still have not said what information led them to arrest Weaver.

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