Thursday, February 27, 2020

Couple Facing Weapons, DUI Charges after Incident at Local Bar

A Gans woman and a Sallisaw man are facing several charges after an altercation Feb. 16 at the Tumbleweed Bar at 113164 Highway 59 in Sequoyah County.

Courtney Alison Williams, 34, was charged with use of a vehicle in the discharge of a weapon and carrying a weapon where alcohol is served, both felonies, as well as misdemeanor counts of carrying a firearm while under the influence and reckless conduct with a firearm.

In addition, an arrest warrant was issued for Jimmy Carrol Williams Jr., 42, on a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol.

According to arrest records, Sequoyah County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the bar after receiving a report of an altercation involving a firearm there.

The bar’s owner told deputies that an intoxicated man, Jimmy Williams, was causing problems inside. The owner said he had removed Jimmy Williams from the bar, but once the men were outside, the man reportedly took a swing at him. The owner said he did not strike Jimmy Williams but did shove him to get him to leave.

When the man’s wife, Courtney Williams, came outside, she allegedly began pointing something in the air and began shooting what an eyewitness believed was a gun.

The Williamses left the bar and their vehicle was later stopped after a short car chase by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol and a LeFlore County deputy on Highway 59 by Kerr Bridge.

Back at the bar, deputies discovered several ammunition casings with “Homady 380 Auto” stamped on them.

Another eyewitness told deputies that Jimmy Williams was trying to fight with him on the southwest corner of the building and when Courtney Williams came around the corner she shot two rounds off. The gun was later found in the Williamses’ vehicle.

When Courtney Williams was taken to the Sequoyah County Jail, she reportedly urinated on the floor of the booking area. Her bond was set at $35,500. She faces imprisonment in the Department of Corrections for 2 years to life on each felony weapons charge. The punishment for the misdemeanors range from fines of up to $500 and/or imprisonment for up to six months.

Jimmy Williams refused to take any sobriety tests. He told deputies he was injured during the altercation, so they took him to Northeastern Health Systems Sequoyah, where he refused treatment. He was then booked into the Sequoyah County Jail.

Jimmy Williams’ DUI charge is punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and imprisonment for up to five years or a minimum of 28 days of treatment followed by 30 days of aftercare at the defendant’s expense or treatment, imprisonment and a fine. His bond was set at $3,500.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Sallisaw Arrestee Faces Contraband Charge

A Sallisaw man was arrested Feb. 19 for allegedly bringing contraband into a jail facility, records reveal.

In addition to that felony charge, Charles Edmond “Monk” Sanders, 54, is also facing misdemeanor counts of domestic abuse/assault and battery, destroying evidence and resisting an officer.

According to the arrest report, officers with the Sallisaw Police Department were called to a home at 302 S. Walnut. When the officers arrived they met with the alleged victim, who said her uncle, Sanders, had assaulted her. Other witnesses at the scene confirmed the story.

Officers entered the home and discovered Sanders using a telephone in one of the bedrooms. Sanders refused to put the phone down when asked and he reportedly became aggressive toward the officers, who placed him in handcuffs for everyone’s safety.

The victim told officers she had gone to the home, which belongs to her grandmother, while looking for a lost dog. When she knocked on the door, Sanders allegedly opened it and began punching her and calling her names. Sanders then reportedly pushed her to the ground and started kicking her.

When asked about the incident, Sanders said he had been struck, too, but officers said a cut under his eye appeared to be old. Police later learned that the scar was from a previous surgical operation to remove metal from the man’s face.

Sanders was transported to the Sallisaw Police Department. Once at the jail, Sanders was asked if he had any drugs or anything illegal on him. Sanders said he had nothing on him, but when he emptied his pockets, an officer and a jailer could see that Sanders had a small blue pill in his hand. The officer attempted to grab the man’s arm, but Sanders quickly put the pill in his mouth and swallowed it.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Roland Announces Half Price Amnesty Program

The City of Roland has announced an amnesty program that will help those with outstanding warrants be able to get their debt paid off at half the cost.

Now through March 27 any person with a current outstanding warrant with the City of Roland can get it taken care of for half the cost, according to Roland Court Clerk Gina Cox.

Owe $500 in warrants? Pay before March 27 and you will only have to pay $250. This applies to warrants with the City of Roland only.

KXMX News Staff

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Man Sentenced in 1997 Kidnapping of 12-year-old Poteau Girl

Henri Michelle Piette, who had been found guilty by a federal jury on June 6, 2019, was sentenced on February 20, 2020 to life imprisonment for Kidnapping, and 360 months for Traveling With Intent to Engage in Sexual Acts With a Juvenile. His sentenced included a $50,000 fine and restitution to the victim in the amount of $50,067.00.

During the trial, prosecutors presented evidence that the defendant had kidnapped the victim, who was 12 at the time, from Poteau, Oklahoma in 1997 where she had been living with her mother, who had been in a relationship with the defendant. Over the course of the nearly 20 years that followed, the defendant repeatedly raped and inflicted additional physical and emotional abuse upon the victim. The victim gave birth to nine children, the first being born in 2000 when she was 15 years old. In July 2016 the victim was able to escape with her children to the United States Consular General Offices in Nogales, Mexico. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was notified and the investigation began.

The investigation revealed, and the victim testified at trial, that the defendant had moved her and their children dozens of times within the United States and Mexico. The Defendant used numerous aliases and forced the victim to use aliases, dye her hair, and wear glasses to change her appearance. He controlled the victim by extreme violence, threats of violence, and sexual abuse against her and her children.

Assistant United States Attorneys Sarah McAmis and Edward Snow represented the United States during the trial. The investigation was led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the United States Department of State Diplomatic Security Service, and the District Attorney’s Office for Oklahoma’s 27th Prosecutorial District.

“Life in prison is a sentence the law reserves for the most serious offenders – offenders like Henri Michelle Piette. For 20 years he inflicted extreme physical and emotional abuse on the victim and her children. For 20 years she feared for her and her children’s lives,” said United States Attorney Brian J. Kuester. “The victim’s courage ended the defendant’s reign of terror. Unfortunately, the horrific memories may very well last a life time. It is fitting that the defendant’s sentence will also.”

“For over 20 years Henri Piette inflicted immeasurable harm upon his victims. We hope today’s sentencing provides closure to the victims and an opportunity to heal," said Melissa Godbold, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Oklahoma City Division. "The FBI would like to thank our law enforcement partners for their dedication and efforts on this investigation.

The Honorable Ronald A. White, District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the sentencing hearing. The defendant will remain in custody pending transportation to the designated federal facility at which the nonparoleable sentence will be served.

KXMX Staff Writer

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Vandals Sought for Damage Caused at Maple Rural Fire Station

The Maple Rural Fire District is asking for the public's help in identifying vandals that caused damaged in their parking lot on Monday, Feb. 24. According to officials with the station, this is not the first time this has occurred. They stated that there has been repeated damage done to the station over the past six months. 

A camera system was recently purchased and installed to help protect the fire department and equipment, according to  Fire Chief Billy Riggs.

Thanks to the new camera system the fire department was able to catch an image of the vehicle the vandals were driving on the night of Feb. 24. The vehicle appears to be a black or dark colored 1993-98 Ford Ranger extended cab. There were two occupants in the vehicle at the time of the incident.  There appears to be damage to the truck bed in front of the passenger rear tire. 

Fire department officials are working with the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Dept. to locate the vehicle and its occupants. Anyone with information can message the Maple Rural Fire District Facebook page or contact the Sequoyah County Sheriff's Dept. at 918-775-9155.

"The fire station is most of our home away from home," stated Chief  Riggs. "We take a lot of pride in our fire station and helping our community."

KXMX News Staff

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CASC Offering English as Second Language Class

For the first time, Carl Albert will be offering a free English class this fall for those who are interested in learning English as their second language. Class will be held each Monday from 3:30-4:40 p.m. in the Ollie Center, room 1322, in Poteau. This class is free to community adults and children. Every student will be responsible for purchasing their own $12 textbook each semester.

English is the universal language – the language that connects speakers of all languages. It is known as the “language of opportunity.” Learning English can open up doors to job opportunities such as jobs, travel, business, and technology. The globalized world has chosen English as the premier language of communication, particularly in business. Embrace it today, if you are looking to have a brighter future in the world of business.

To sign up, please contact Crissy Keeton at 918-647-1319 or email

Classes will begin August 12.

KXMX News Staff

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Monday, February 24, 2020

Research Center Hosting Genealogy Workshop

Learn more about your cultural heritage at the Cherokee Family Research Center’s genealogy workshop on Saturday, March 21. 

Led by an experienced, professional genealogist, the workshop will teach participants how to begin their genealogical research and provide various resources available to assist them. 

Educational sessions provide an in-depth look at the history of the Cherokee National Female and Male Seminaries, the US Assimilation and Civilization policy's effect on the Cherokee Nation, and the 13 detachments on the Trail of Tears. 

The workshop will take place in the Osiyo Training Room, 17676 S. Muskogee Ave., behind the Cherokee Nation Gift Shop, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., with a 45-minute break for participants to have lunch on their own.

The cost to attend is $50, and registration is limited to 50 people on a first-come, first-served basis. Proceeds from the workshop will support the Cherokee Family Research Center’s annual ancestry conference in the fall. 

To reserve space or get more information, please call 1-918-456-6007, ext. 6162, or email

KXMX News Staff

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Commissioners Green-Light Sheriff’s Grant Application

The Sequoyah County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved a plan Monday that will allow the Sheriff’s Office to apply for an NCHP grant.

Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane said Monday that the grant will go toward the purchase of a new fingerprinting machine. 

At their weekly meeting, the commissioners also appointed Tiffany Jenkins as requisitioning agent for all three Sequoyah County districts and she was named requisitioning agent for the county commissioners’ office. Jenkins was also designated as the receiving agent for the county’s Office of Emergency Management.

The commissioners also approved the transfer of funds from the county assessor’s visual inspection account to the assessor’s maintenance and operations account.

The panel also approved declaring as surplus several computers and related equipment. The computers will be transferred from the Sequoyah County assessor to the county clerk’s office.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Sallisaw Man Charged with Drug Trafficking

A Sallisaw man was arrested Feb. 7 and charged with trafficking in illegal drugs, a felony.

James Paul Cripps, 22, was arrested at an apartment complex at 307 S. JT Stites Blvd. in Sallisaw.

A police report shows that law enforcement officials had received information that Cripps was selling methamphetamine and that he had a backpack containing a fake Dasani water bottle that unscrewed in the middle that he used to store the drugs.

On Feb. 7, Sallisaw police officers went to the apartment complex and spoke with Cripps girlfriend. She stated that Cripps was not home. When asked if they could search the apartment the girlfriend asked the officers if they had a warrant. The officers told her they didn’t, but would be back in 20-30 minutes with one in hand.

The officers left the residence and drove to the RedBird Smith Health Center, where they were able to keep an eye on the apartment. A short time later, a silver SUV driving erratically pulled into the parking lot and parked in front of Apartment 28. A man the officers recognized as Cripps left the vehicle and ran to the apartment. A few minutes later, Cripps emerged carrying a black and yellow backpack.

The officers drove back toward the complex while watching Cripps, who was walking fast, almost jogging, as he went upstairs to an apartment at another building in the same complex. Cripps walked inside the apartment with the backpack, but when he left shortly afterward, he did not have it. Cripps then returned to Apartment 28 and went inside.

The officers went to the apartment Cripps had entered and knocked on the door. The man who answered the knock told officers someone had entered the unlocked apartment while he was indisposed and left soon thereafter. When the man went to the front door, he spotted the backpack sitting in a chair. He gave the backpack to police.

When the officers looked inside the backpack, they discovered and opened the Dasani bottle, which contained a zippered baggie with a crystalline substance inside it.

Officers returned to Apartment 28 and spoke with Cripps, who eventually described everything inside the backpack. A later search of the pack revealed not only the Dasani bottle, but also a fake Monster can that contained a lot of empty baggies, a gas mask, two torch lighters, a can of butane, a black Wahl bag that contained two glass smoking devices and more.

Cripps was booked in to the Sallisaw City Jail. The crystalline substance field-tested positive for meth.

A check of Cripps’ criminal history showed that he had been convicted of two previous felonies. He completed drug court in 2018.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Walters Named NHS Employee of The Month

Valerie Walters, a therapy aide, was named NHS-Sequoyah’s January employee of the month. She is pictured at far left with Oz Martinez, CNO; and registered nurse Sharon Randolph. Also pictured are members of the Kindness Krew, including Judy Martens, president; Ro Freeman, vice president/treasurer; and member Elaine Carter.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Muldrow Man Facing Drug Charge

A felony drug charge was levied Feb. 13 against a Muldrow man, police reports indicate.

Vincent Dewayne Marr, 31, was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute, which is punishable by imprisonment in the Department of Corrections for up to five years and a fine of up to $20,000.

On Feb. 13, Sequoyah County Sheriff’s deputies and investigators, along with detectives with the Sallisaw Police Department, executed a search warrant at Marr’s residence.

Marr answered the officers’ knock and allowed them inside. The officers found two children, ages 3 and 5, asleep in a bedroom of the home. A female was discovered in another bedroom.

During the search, officers found a yellow, glass smoking device on the floor beside the bed where the female was found. The device had a burned appearance that contained a white residue.

In the home’s laundry room, law enforcement officers found a black canvas bag stuck to the back of the dryer with a magnet. The bag held a blue Ziploc bag that contained 9.5 grams of a white, crystalline substance, which later field-tested positive for methamphetamine. The substance was sent to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for further testing.

The children were released into the care of their aunt and Vincent Marr was transported to the Sequoyah County Jail for booking. The female was released with no charges.

Vincent Marr’s bond was set at $20,000 and his next court appearance is at 10:30 a.m. Feb. 26.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Gore Man Injured in Crash

A Gore man was injured Saturday when his pickup veered off State Highway 17 near Marble City and rolled over.

Philip Delong, 79, was taken by Pafford EMS to Northeastern Health System Sequoyah, where he was admitted in stable condition with internal trunk injuries. He was later transferred to St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa.

The Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office and fire departments from Brushy, Marble City and Sallisaw assisted Oklahona State Police at the scene of the accident.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Friday, February 21, 2020

Sallisaw Man Charged with Meth Possession

A Sallisaw man was arrested Feb. 7 at his residence and charged with felony drug possession with intent to distribute.

Jason Lee Kerr, 45, faces imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to $20,000 on the charge, according to a police report.

On Feb. 7, a Sallisaw police officer spotted a Chrysler 200 drive past a stop sign at Redwood Avenue. The officer could see a handicapped placard hanging from the car’s rear-view mirror. Knowing that such placards clearly state that the permit should be removed before driving, the officer was prompted to initiate a traffic stop.

The vehicle pulled into a driveway on Redwood and stopped. When the officer contacted Kerr, he noticed a plastic baggie sticking out of his jacket pocket. When asked for his driver’s license and proof of insurance, a nervous Kerr handed the officer his license with visibly trembling hands. 

The officer’s report notes that he had known Kerr for several years and had never seen him act in such a manner.

Kerr exited the vehicle with his hand in his jacket pocket. The officer asked him to remove his hand and when he did, the plastic baggie became more visible and the officer could see that it contained a white, crystalline substance. Kerr was then arrested.

At the police department, a search uncovered $300 in small bills in the front of Kerr’s Carhartt overalls. The officer noted that the small bills were consistent with drug proceeds from selling small amounts. The baggie Kerr had in his jacket pocket weighed 14.85 grams, which is a larger amount than is common for personal use. A field test was positive for methamphetamine. The drugs were sent to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for further testing.

Kerr’s bond was set at $2,500. His next court appearance will be at 9 a.m. March 4.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Vian Man Pleads Not Guilty to Drug Charge

A Vian man pleaded not guilty Feb. 19 to a felony drug charge after his arrest Feb. 10 in Sallisaw.

Arland Dewayne Rowell, 60, was charged with unlawful possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute, a felony punishable by imprisonment in the Department of Corrections for up to five years and a fine of up to $20,000.

According to an arrest report, a Sallisaw detective went to the area of 39 Redwood Drive to watch a suspected drug house.

While in the area, the detective watched a blue sport-utility vehicle sitting in the home’s driveway. The detective recognized the SUV as belonging to a resident of Marble City.

After sitting outside the home for about 10 minutes, the deputy spotted Rowell and another male walking out of the residence.

The other male left the residence in the SUV and Rowell began walking away from the home. When the detective pulled up to Rowell, he was holding a white knife in his left hand. Rowell said he had just found the knife and reportedly was having uncontrollable movements. 

The detective asked Rowell if he had anything illegal on him, to which Rowell said, “Yes, some syringes and just a little dope.” Rowell was asked to empty his pockets. He handed the detective a pair of black socks from his left jacket pocket. The socks contained syringes and a small amount of suspected methamphetamine. 

The detective also found a loaded syringe in Rowell’s front pocket. Back at the Police Department, officers looked into the syringe bag inside the socks and found two plastic baggies, one containing a large crystalline rock weighing about 8 grams. The rock tested positive for methamphetamine.

Rowell’s bond was set at $15,000. His next court appearance is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 8.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Two Announce Candidacies For Sheriff

Eric Cope                                Jim Linduff

Two Sequoyah County residents have announced their candidacies for the June election for sheriff.

Eric M. Cope and Jim Linduff are vying to replace incumbent Sheriff Larry Lane, who is running for re-election.

Cope is a lifelong resident of Sequoyah County. He grew up in Gore and lived there until October 2019, when he and his family moved to a home north of Vian.

A law enforcement officer with 14 years of experience, Cope says that as sheriff, he would have more of a presence in the county. “I believe the position of sheriff is solely for serving people,” he said in an interview. “The best way to do that is to be out there and be involved with the people of the county.”

Cope says his work as an officer with the Gore and Vian police departments and two stints in the sheriff’s office have given him long-term relationships with other law enforcement officers in the area that will enhance his role as the county’s top lawman. He said that doing “preventive maintenance” against crime is much better than doing “damage control” once a crime has been committed.

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Cope said, “Our home needs a sheriff who is hardworking, dedicated to ALL crime prevention and will always stay loyal to the residents of Sequoyah County. The safety and security of our residents will ALWAYS be my top priority.”

Jim Linduff says he also wants to see a greater law enforcement presence in the county. He lives between Gore and Vian and said he rarely, if ever, sees deputies patrolling the area and he would like that to change.

Linduff, a U.S. Navy veteran and longtime law enforcement officer, has received 38 police commendations in his career. He was awarded a Governor’s Award and the Police Meritorious Service Award for his work as one of the first responders to the 1995 bombing of the Edward R. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City.

When asked what changes he would make at the Sheriff’s Department, Linduff said, “I would like to see more deputies in the public and I would like to see the department run more efficiently.”

In a statement announcing his candidacy, Linduff said he also wanted to streamline the department. “There is no need for a sheriff’s department our size to have four drug dogs.”

With shootings at schools and churches on the rise, Linduff also pointed out that he is a certified instructor for active-shooter incidents and said he looks forward to sharing his knowledge and training with area schools, churches and businesses. 

Linduff said he also wants to add a search-and-rescue team to the department and expand the police reserve force, along with bringing in new technology for his officers. “We can’t keep doing mid-century solutions to law enforcement problems any more. We can save money with technology,” he said.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Car Chase Ends With Man’s Arrest

A Tahlequah man who led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase from Tahlequah to Sequoyah County is now facing two criminal charges.

Weylin Thompson was arrested Feb. 15 on U.S. Highway 59 in Sallisaw and charged with endangering others while attempting to elude a police officer, a felony, and driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor.

The Sallisaw Police Department and the Oklahoma State Police were among several law enforcement agencies involved in the chase.

Oklahoma State Troopers heard about the chase and started toward the location, where they saw the suspect pass by Highway 59 and State Highway 101 traveling approximately 100 mph through that intersection.

The SPD had placed stop sticks near Military Road north of Sallisaw and the suspect’s tires blew out when the vehicle hit them. The vehicle then traveled off the left side of the road and struck an electric pole and water meter. The crash led to a brief power outage in Sallisaw.

When law enforcement officers made contact with Thompson, he was reportedly very intoxicated and could barely talk. He refused to take a sobriety test, saying it was not necessary. Pafford EMS later took Thompson to Northeastern Health System Sequoyah for treatment.

Thompson’s bond was set at $15,000. The felony charge is punishable by imprisonment for up to five years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. The misdemeanor count carries a punishment of imprisonment for up to a year and a fine of up to $1,000.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Sallisaw Man Dies in Sunday Night Fire

An elderly Sallisaw resident died Sunday when his home caught fire, Fire Chief Anthony Armstrong said.

The fire department was called to the scene at 10:39 p.m. Sunday. When crews arrived at the home, they found smoke billowing from the doors and windows. Armstrong said the home is behind the Sallisaw rodeo grounds.

The Sallisaw Police Department also responded to the scene.

When firefighters made entry into the home, they found the unnamed elderly man lying on a bed in the living room. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Armstrong said the fire appeared to be accidental. He noted that the elderly man was a heavy smoker and that oxygen was in use. Foul play is not suspected in the blaze.

Laura Brown, KXMX Staff Writer

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