State briefs: Thursday, November 29, 2007

Modified: November 29, 2007 at 5:57 am •  Published: November 29, 2007
Police chief resigns
Police Chief William Baker resigned at Tuesday's city council meeting, city officials said.

Baker was suspended in September over accusations he violated police policy and city code.

He was hired as police chief in September 2006 after serving as an officer with the department.

Marietta Mayor Scott Birdsall says he plans to name Assistant Police Chief Scott Cheney as an interim police supervisor.

$10,000 reward set in vandalism
Rite-Way Construction is offering a $10,000 reward for the arrest of people responsible for stealing two company trucks and using them in a weekend vandalism spree that caused more than $100,000 damage and killed a cow.

Garfield County Undersheriff Jerry Niles said investigators were looking into leads Wednesday.

Anyone with information can call the Garfield County sheriff's office at (580) 237-0244 or Enid police at (580) 242-7000.

Warner pair face abuse charges
A former husband and wife from Warner waived their preliminary hearing on child abuse charges involving a 9-year-old girl, officials said Wednesday.

Charles "Chuck” LaBounty, 47, is charged in Muskogee County District Court with five counts of lewd molestation and three counts of rape by instrumentation. Sherry LaBounty, 47, his estranged wife, is charged with enabling child abuse by injury.

Both are free on bail.

Teller pleads guilty in fraud
A former bank teller pleaded guilty in federal court to bank fraud in the theft of $27,500, U.S. Attorney Sheldon J. Sperling said Wednesday.

Stephanie Jane Sands, 51, of Prague pleaded guilty in the U.S. Federal Court for the Eastern District in Muskogee.

Charges arose after auditors found a shortage during a cash count at Citizens State Bank in Paden.

From Staff and Wire Reports

Drunken-driving trial could be senator's fate
An Oklahoma state senator accused of drunken driving pleaded not guilty Wednesday morning in a Choctaw County court.

State Sen. Jeff Rabon, D-Hugo, was arraigned on an aggravated drunken driving charge and entered a plea of not guilty, District Attorney Laura Ross Wallis said.

The charges stem from an August arrest. Rabon, 45, was arrested by Hugo police and accused of driving his car into a truck, which struck another vehicle.

Rabon did not submit to a breath-analysis test, but blood drawn from him at a hospital showed that his blood-alcohol level was 0.16 — double the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle in Oklahoma.

The charges against Rabon were amended after the blood-alcohol tests came back.

Rabon is expected to appear in court again on Dec. 19, when prosecutors and Rabon's defense attorneys will discuss the evidence and a possible settlement for the misdemeanor case.

If officials can't come to an agreement, Rabon's case will go to a jury trial, Wallis said.

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