Thursday, March 1, 2018

Man Shot in Standoff Charged in District Court

A 22-year-old Muldrow man, who was the central figure in a standoff with Muldrow police on Feb. 8, was charged Feb. 26 in Sequoyah County District Court in Sallisaw with two counts of feloniously pointing a firearm and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

An arrest warrant was issued for Marcus Allen Hignite the same day, said District Attorney Jack Thorp.

Thorp said Hignite was wounded in the Feb. 8 standoff. The standoff with Hignite began at about 4:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at Main and Interstate 40 in Muldrow, and concluded about three hours later when Hignite fired a handgun at police. Assistant Muldrow Police Chief Tim Keith fired back and wounded Hignite.

Hignite was flown to a Fort Smith hospital then on to the University of Arkansas Medical School in Little Rock, where he recovered in ICU, according to officials.

Thorp said, “Word is that Hignite is in custody in Benton County (Ark.).”

According to the report of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) agent filed with the charges, Hignite took a handgun from another person at the Executive Inn in Muldrow and reportedly pointed the handgun at others.

Muldrow Police Chief George Lawson located Hignite and told him to drop the handgun, but Hignite would not do as ordered.

According to the report, “Lawson and Muldrow Assistant Police Chief Tim Keith attempted to talk with Hignite to get him to lay down the handgun and step away from it. Hignite refused. Hignite placed the handgun in his mouth and under his chin on several occasions. Hignite raised the handgun toward officers that were securing the perimeter of the parking lot.”

When Hignite fired the weapon at the officers, which included Sallisaw Police Officers Herbert Hutchinson and Jeff Murray “an officer (Keith) shot at Hignite and knocked him to the ground.”

According to the report, it was learned later that Hignite allegedly pointed the gun at the man he stole it from and at a female victim, whom he threatened to kill.

Keith’s shooting was reviewed by Lawson, and Keith was found not to have violated any Muldrow police policies. Keith, who was on administrative leave after the shooting, as is the usual policy, was allowed to return to work. Thorp said he is still reviewing the shooting.

This was not Hignite’s first encounter with the courts. In 2015 he was charged in Sequoyah County District Court with malicious injury to property, unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of paraphernalia.

Hignite at first pleaded not guilty to the charges, then later changed his plea to no contest, and was sentenced to seven years suspended and a fine. Hignite was paying on the fine, but because no payment was received since December, another arrest warrant was issued on Feb. 28 for him for failure to appear and failure to pay.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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