Tulsa woman to face trial on child-neglect charge
A Tulsa woman must face trial on an allegation that she neglected her three children by leaving them in their father's care.
Tulsa County prosecutors assert that Erin Elizabeth Lewallen failed to provide proper supervision because she left them in the care of her husband, William Todd Lewallen, at a Tulsa residence while she was at work on Nov. 11.
A preliminary hearing for the Lewallens began Jan. 16, when there was testimony about one child being naked in the cold and another being locked in a dog cage.
Two weeks ago, Special Judge David Youll ordered William Lewallen bound over on a charge of neglecting the children - two 3-year-olds and a 1-year-old - at a residence in the 4900 block of North Frankfort Place.
Youll issued his order regarding Erin Lewallen on Wednesday, and she will also face trial on a neglect charge.
Prosecutors allege that she reasonably should have known that leaving the children in their father's care would put the children at risk, based on her knowledge of his criminal history and history of substance abuse.
William Lewallen, 48, is in the Tulsa Jail. Erin Lewallen, 27, is free on bond.
- BILL BRAUN, World Staff Writer
Two brothers are charged in marijuana conspiracy
Two brothers have been charged in federal court in Tulsa with conspiring to distribute more than 100 kilograms of marijuana from May 2006 until November 2010.
Thamous Eugene Taylor, 36, and Brandon Royce Taylor, who also is in his mid-30s, were charged in a Jan. 11 indictment that was made public when Brandon Taylor made his initial court appearance Wednesday afternoon.
Prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of $730,933, which they claim was proceeds from the brothers' alleged drug crimes.
Officials seized $101,003 in currency from a Broken Arrow residence on Jan. 31, 2009, the indictment states.
Brandon Taylor is also charged with other drug crimes involving methamphetamine and cocaine. In addition, he is charged with possessing a destructive device in the form of an unregistered "street sweeper" semiautomatic shotgun, money laundering and maintaining a "drug-involved premises" in the 5600 block of North Elgin Place.
He was arrested Jan. 24 and remains in the Tulsa Jail. Thamous Taylor is not yet in custody, Assistant U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said Wednesday, but a warrant has been issued for his arrest.
- DAVID HARPER, World Staff Writer
Human-trafficking claims are investigated in Tulsa
Tulsa police are investigating whether several women they encountered during a prostitution bust are victims of human trafficking.
Clarence Holden, 25, and Destiny Hope Niles, 24, both of Fort Smith, Ark., were arrested at the Tulsa Inn & Suites, 8201 E. Skelly Drive, about midnight Tuesday night.
The Police Department's Vice Unit responded to an Internet post and arranged to meet a woman for "a massage with a 'happy ending' " for $150, police said.
When undercover officers identified themselves to the woman, she said she was being held against her will and had been brought by force to Tulsa from out of state, according to a news release.
"Further investigation revealed there were multiple females brought here against their will, forced into prostitution," the release states.
Niles told police that Holden keeps her money, car keys and credit card and threatens her physically, according to an arrest report.
Niles was arrested on a complaint of soliciting prostitution within 1,000 feet of a church or school.
Her bail is set at $1,500, while police continue to investigate her claims, Officer Jillian Roberson said.
Holden was jailed on a pandering complaint.
Deron Deangelo Maxey, 25, of Tulsa was also arrested. He was jailed on a drug possession complaint after officers found a bag of methamphetamine in his pocket, police said.
A complaint of carrying drugs into a jail was added after deputies said they found a bag of prescription pills in Maxey's underwear.
- AMANDA BLAND, World Staff Writer
Wounded credit union robbery suspect charged
Charges were filed Wednesday in connection with the robbery of a Tulsa credit union last week.
Dehrain Eugene Berry Wilson, 22, is charged in Tulsa County District Court with robbery with a firearm and unlawfully wearing a mask or hood.
Wilson is accused of wearing a ski mask and being armed with a gun while demanding money from the Tulsa Teachers Credit Union at 140 E. Pine St. on Jan. 23.
The robber placed cash into a backpack, an arrest report says. A security guard then chased him out of the credit union and fired several shots at him, the report says.
About 15 minutes later, an ambulance was called for a gunshot victim in the 1600 block of North Greenwood Avenue, police said.
The report indicates that Wilson was on the floor of a home in that area when authorities arrived.
He had a gunshot wound to his left arm and was taken by ambulance to a hospital.
During a search of the home, police found clothing that matched those worn by the robber and a large amount of cash in a backpack, the report says.
Officers found a loaded revolver and a black ski mask outside.
Wilson remains in the Tulsa Jail with bail set at $50,000.
- KENDRICK MARSHALL, World Staff Writer
Crash kills secretary of state of Cherokee Nation
TAHLEQUAH - Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Charles Head was killed in a head-on collision Wednesday, Cherokee Nation officials confirmed.
According to the Chouteau Police Department, Head, 63, died when his vehicle collided with a tractor-trailer rig on U.S. 69 about 2 p.m. in Chouteau.
"Words cannot express how saddened we are at the passing of Secretary of State Charles Head," Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Principal Chief Bill John Baker said in a statement.
"Charles has been a dear friend of mine for many, many years. My heart goes out to his family and many loved ones, including his wife, Frances, his children and grandchildren."
Before taking office last January, Head worked for the Bureau of Indian Affairs for more than a decade, most recently as the interim regional director for the Eastern Oklahoma office in Muskogee.
Before his October 2010 promotion, Head was the interim deputy regional director for the same office and was the superintendent of the Miami, Okla., agency office for two years.
"It's a great loss (of) institutional knowledge that will be hard to replace," said Tribal Council Speaker Tina Glory-Jordan.
"My heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family. He was a good Cherokee man who had a heart for the people."
- KENDRICK MARSHALL, World Staff Writer