Sweeney case defendant is denied bid for new trial
A judge has denied a request for a new trial for one of the defendants convicted in the Neal Sweeney case based on allegations of misconduct in the jury deliberating room.
An attorney for Alonzo "Jack" Johnson filed a motion for a new trial Friday, saying the verdicts were influenced by outside information, intimidation and coercion.
In December, a Tulsa County jury convicted Johnson, 41, of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder. Tulsa County District Judge Tom Gillert sentenced Johnson on Jan. 4 to two consecutive life prison terms.
The judge later received a letter from a juror who said she didn't think the prosecution proved that Johnson was guilty and said she voted to convict "because they said we had to come to a unanimous decision."
Attached to the motion for a new trial was an affidavit by the juror, stating that during deliberations she was screamed at, called names and verbally abused.
Gillert denied the request for a new trial Monday. The jury issue can be raised again in an appeal to the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Sweeney, 63, was fatally shot in September 2008 at his business, Retail Fuels Marketing, 3158 S. 108th East Ave.
Three men, including Johnson, were convicted of murder and conspiracy. Another pleaded guilty to solicitation of murder.
- BILL BRAUN, World Staff Writer
Murder charge filed in 10th killing of the year in city
A first-degree murder charge was filed Tuesday against a Tulsa man who was arrested in connection with the city's 10th homicide of the year.
Dennis Ray Daney, 55, is accused of fatally stabbing Justin Todd, 31, on Jan. 25, court documents show.
Todd was taken by ambulance to St. John Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Witnesses told police that Daney and Todd were on the porch of a house in the 1300 block of East Haskell Street before the stabbing, Daney's arrest report indicates. Todd was then seen staggering off the porch and collapsing, the report says.
Daney was arrested at the scene. He is in the Tulsa Jail without bail.
- KENDRICK MARSHALL, World Staff Writer
Sex-trafficking suspect is now accused of new crime
A Tulsan who is charged with sex-trafficking is now also accused of trying to stop a witness from testifying against him, an updated indictment shows.
Tarran A. Brinson, 23, was arrested Dec. 6 after a 15-year-old girl met with an undercover police officer during a prostitution sting at the Super 8 motel at 6616 E. Archer St., an arrest report says.
Brinson was charged Dec. 13 in Tulsa County District Court with human-trafficking. State prosecutors alleged that he held the girl "as a prostitute for his own and others' commercial benefit," court filings state.
That charge was dismissed when the federal indictment was issued in January. The federal charges accuse him of sex-trafficking in addition to using the telephone and Internet to facilitate prostitution.
The updated indictment alleges that on Jan. 5, during a recorded phone call at the Tulsa Jail, Brinson told a potential witness to disregard a subpoena and not testify before a federal grand jury.
U.S. Magistrate Frank McCarthy ruled Tuesday that Brinson could be released on bond under electronic monitoring to his family's home, but Assistant U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said he would appeal that decision.
Brinson will be kept in jail at least until U.S. Chief District Judge Gregory Frizzell rules.
- DAVID HARPER, World Staff Writer
Man accused as 'kingpin' in drug case is sentenced
A man who was charged with being a "drug kingpin" in a million-dollar methamphetamine conspiracy was sentenced Tuesday to 27 years and nine months in prison.
Omar Paez-Perez, 35, pleaded guilty in November to conspiracy and money-laundering charges. He was one of seven people charged in the plot, which U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan found involved the distribution of at least 15 kilograms of the drug in northeastern Oklahoma from March 2005 to December 2010.
Paez-Perez was the only defendant to be charged with operating a continuing criminal enterprise under the federal drug kingpin statute. He did not plead guilty to that charge, but Eagan found that he did occupy a leadership position in the conspiracy.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Allen Litchfield said Paez-Perez had been a large-scale drug trafficker who acted as a "purveyor of misery" in the distribution of hundreds of dosage units from California to Oklahoma.
Eagan also ordered that Paez-Perez pay more than $116,000 related to his money laundering and be partially responsible for a judgment of $1 million - meant to represent proceeds of the drug conspiracy.
Paez-Perez agreed as part of his plea not to contest his deportation back to Mexico after he serves his prison sentence.
- DAVID HARPER, World Staff Writer
18 residents of apartment building displaced by fire
Residents of a 10-unit apartment building were displaced by a cooking fire early Tuesday.
Firefighters driving in the area of 21st Street and Garnett Road about 8:45 a.m. saw flames from a building at the Village East Apartments, 11327 E. 23rd St., fire officials said.
Crews rescued one man who was sleeping in the building, Fire Capt. Stan May said. No serious injuries were reported.
Four apartments were heavily damaged, displacing seven adults and 11 children. Utilities to the other six units were disconnected while technicians checked electric lines in the building, May said.
Jewell Ross, a resident whose apartment was not damaged, said he saw flames shooting from a window on the lower level. Ross said he had started to call the Fire Department but stopped when he heard sirens in the parking lot.
A fire investigator determined that the blaze started when a resident who was cooking left the apartment and stove un- attended, May said.
He said damage to the building will be in excess of $100,000.
- AMANDA BLAND, World Staff Writer
13-year-old boy accused of sexually abusing girl, 8
CLAREMORE - A 13-year-old Rogers County boy was arrested Monday on an allegation that he sexually abused an 8-year-old girl.
Sheriff's deputies were called to a northern Rogers County neighborhood Monday evening after the girl's parent witnessed the abuse while the children were playing in the yard, Sheriff Scott Walton said Tuesday.
"It is unfortunate that this has taken place," said Walton, who did not disclose details of the alleged abuse.
"We usually see this (crime) involving an adult, not when the (suspect) and victim are so young."
The incident reportedly occurred in a rural area north of Claremore, the sheriff said.
The boy is in custody, Walton said.
- KENDRICK MARSHALL, World Staff Writer
Man is handed two life terms in killing, wounding
STIGLER - A Haskell County man was sentenced to two life terms with the chance of parole in connection with the fatal shooting of his stepfather and the wounding of his mother, court officials said Tuesday.
Joshua Allen Bowen, 20, of Stigler pleaded guilty Monday in Haskell County District Court to first-degree murder and shooting with an intent to kill.
Both life sentences are to run concurrently, the District Attorney's Office confirmed.
Bowen's trial had been scheduled to begin Monday,
Bowen used a 22-caliber pistol to shoot Herbert Wayne Moore, 79, several times and shot his mother, Vickie Moore, once in the head, according to an arrest affidavit.
- SHEILA STOGSDILL, World Correspondent