Jury selection in trial may last into next weekJury selection in Kevin Ray Underwood's first-degree murder trial is expected to continue into next week. The 28-year-old Purcell man is charged with killing his 10-year-old neighbor, Jamie Rose Bolin, in April 2006 as part of what police have described as a cannibalistic plot. Potential jurors reported to Cleveland County District Court on Tuesday and have been undergoing jury selection behind closed doors. A bailiff for McClain County District Judge Candace Blalock says the process is expected to continue through Friday before jury selection moves to open court Monday. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Underwood, who lived in the same apartment complex with the girl and her father. Police discovered the girl's nearly decapitated body in a plastic tub in Underwood's bedroom closet. The trial was moved from Purcell to nearby Norman because of pretrial publicity. Associated Press
3 held in September killingOklahoma City police made three arrests this week in connection with the September shooting death of an Oklahoma City man, authorities said. Roque Beltran, 20, Corina Cossio, 27 and Edmundo Cossio, 16, were arrested on Tuesday and Wednesday at their homes on first-degree murder complaints, police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said. Aaron G. Salgado, 19, was found lying on the street in the 4900 block of S Independence about 1:30 a.m. Sept. 25 with a gunshot wound, Knight said. He died the next day at OU Medical Center. Micah Gamino and Brian Sargent, Staff Writers
Man pleads in baby deathA McCurtain County man pleaded no contest and was sentenced to four years in prison in connection with the death of his girlfriend's 19-month-old daughter, court officials said Wednesday. Kirby Josh Byassee, 19, is charged in McCurtain County District Court in Idabel with second degree murder. Byassee's trial was to begin Tuesday. He entered the plea on Feb. 12, according to court records. A toxicology report showed the toddler died from a drug overdose of Oxycodone, court records show. Investigators believe the pills belonged to Byassee, records show. Jessica Wells, 21, is also charged with felony child abuse. She is free on $5,000 bail and is scheduled to go to trial March 17.
Man's body found in riverThe body of a Delaware County man who apparently drowned after being swept away by high waters was recovered about 9 a.m. Wednesday. Allen S. Craig, 62, of Jay was found about 400 yards downstream from Whitewater Bridge in rural Delaware County. His body was located under brush in about 4 to 5 feet of water, said Capt. Larry Barnett, with the Delaware County Sheriff's Department. Craig was less than a mile from his home about 1 a.m. Sunday when his vehicle stalled as he tried to cross rapid floodwater over a low-water concrete bridge. A passenger in the vehicle, 64-year-old Marian A. Craig of Jay, stayed in the vehicle and was rescued by members of the Butler Fire Department. She was taken to a Grove hospital, where she was treated for hypothermia and released. About 50 people, including volunteers and members of the Delaware County Sheriff's Office, the highway patrol, Grove and Jay police departments and the emergency management departments spent the past four days looking for Craig, he said.
Man pleads in animal cruelty caseA former Craig County man pleaded no contest Wednesday to animal cruelty charges. David Bradley Bell, 47, formerly of Bluejacket, received a two-year deferred sentence. He also was ordered to perform 240 hours of community service in lieu of serving 30 days in the Craig County jail. The community service must be completed within 18 months. Bell, who lives in Texas, is on unsupervised probation, but the conditions of his probation will change should he move back to Oklahoma, court records show. Authorities found hundreds of sheep and cattle starving or already dead on Bell's ranch. Investigators found no feed or water. Sheila Stogsdill, State Correspondent
Machete killer gets 35 yearsA Tulsa County judge has sentenced a Tulsa man to 35 years in prison for killing his mother with a machete. After Shawn Deatherage pleaded no contest to a reduced count of second-degree murder Tuesday, District Judge Tom Gillert found him guilty and pronounced his punishment. Deatherage initially was charged with first-degree murder of the Jan. 1, 2007, death of Cheryl Deatherage, 56. Police found her body covered by a blanket on the front porch of the home she shared with her son. Officers were called to the scene after witnesses said they saw the defendant striking his mother with a machete, reports show. Deatherage, 33, reached a plea agreement with prosecutors. He'll have to serve at least 85 percent, or nearly 30 years, before he is eligible for parole. Deatherage received a concurrent one-year jail term upon pleading no contest to a misdemeanor count of resisting an officer stemming from when he was arrested. Associated Press