Monday, December 19, 2016

Trial Date Set in Second-degree Murder Case

A Vian man, charged with second-degree murder, will go on trial during the next jury trial docket, which begins Feb. 6 in Sequoyah County District Court, Sallisaw, according to court records.

Michael Dean Buster II, 24, is accused of the Sept. 29 beating death of Pliney Dane Crum, 31, at Crum’s home north of Vian. Buster pleaded not guilty to the charge.

A second Vian man is also accused in Crum’s death. Kyle Reece Major, 33, also pleaded not guilty to the charge of second-degree murder, and his case is on an April 13 jury trial sounding docket in district court. A trial date could be set at that time.

According to investigators’ reports filed with the charges, Buster was found at Crum’s home, and admitted to killing Crum in a fist fight. He said the two had been drinking and Crum was calling him a name. Buster told investigators he blacked out and when he came to he was sitting on top of Crum hitting him in the head. He said he then went across the road to McQuick’s convenience store and asked that 911 be called because “he just killed someone.” That statement led witnesses to the unconscious Crum. Buster was arrested at the scene.

Crum died the next day at a Tulsa hospital.

Major was arrested Oct. 1, 2015. According to the investigators’ reports, Major at first denied being at the scene, although he did admit he took Buster to Crum’s home, but said he left before the fight. But surveillance tape from McQuick’s store, obtained by the investigators, shows Major leaving Crum’s home just 10 minutes before Buster runs across the street to ask for help. Major eventually told investigators he was at the residence during the fight and related how the fight occurred. He said he told Buster to run for help and that he tried to revive Crum. According to the report, Major said Buster was “freaking out,” and he was afraid Buster would attack him, so he left.

The murder in the second degree charges allege the suspects did cause the death of the victim but that “. . .this conduct was not done with the intention of taking the life of Dane Crum.” It is also noted the crime is punishable by imprisonment for 10 years to life.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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