Prosecutors to seek death penalty against Oklahoma City man accused of raping, strangling neighbor

Dartangan D. Cotton, 22, of Oklahoma City, lived two doors away from Paula Martin, 56, who was found rolled up in a blanket with her hands bound. Police said the defendant hid in Martin's attic
by Tim Willert Published: September 20, 2012
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Prosecutors amended their case against Cotton last month 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.

Cotton also is facing a first-degree burglary charge, which prosecutors amended Wednesday to show Cotton intended to rape Martin when he entered her home through the garage while she was inside, court papers show.

Multiple witnesses told police they saw a black male exit Martin's car and enter her garage, and one witness observed a window screen on the ground and a storm window missing screws.

Cotton told police he was on the telephone the night Martin was killed when he heard sirens outside. He said when he walked outside he was pointed out to police and arrested.

Cotton denied ever setting foot in Martin's home, even though police arrested him after he crashed through her living room ceiling.


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by Tim Willert
Education Reporter
Tim Willert is a native Californian with Oklahoma ties who covers education. Prior to moving to Oklahoma in June 2011, he was as an editor for FOXSports.com in Century City, Calif., and reported on courts for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and...
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