Robber gets 112 years for check-cashing store heists
A previously convicted robber has been sentenced to 112 years in prison for three robbery-related crimes at check-cashing businesses.
At a trial in January,Tulsa County jurors found Kenneth Jordan Mitchell guilty of two counts of robbery with a firearm and one count of attempted armed robbery.
The jury imposed sentences of 45, 45 and 22 years, respectively. At a formal sentencing this week, District Judge James Caputo ordered that all three prison terms run consecutively.
Caputo had told jurors that the armed robbery convictions require an offender to serve at least 85 percent of his prison time before becoming eligible for parole.
The jury also fined Mitchell $25,000.
Mitchell, 27, of Tulsa, was convicted of robbing the Check 'N Go in the 7100 block of South Memorial Drive on Aug. 24, 2011, and of attempting to rob the Cashland at 11003 E. 41st St. on the same day.
He was also convicted of robbing the Advance America check cashing business at 2425 W. Kenosha St. in Broken Arrow on Sept. 1, 2011.
Assistant District Attorney Phillip Peak said Mitchell used a rusty revolver in all three cases.
In a sentencing stage of the trial, the prosecutor introduced evidence that Mitchell had felony convictions in 2007 for robbery with a firearm and kidnapping.
Mitchell has been in the Tulsa Jail since Sept. 8, 2011.
- BILL BRAUN, World Staff Writer
Bixby woman's killer won't seek death-penalty relief
OKLAHOMA CITY - An Oklahoma death-row inmate who is scheduled to be executed next month has waived his right to ask the state Pardon and Parole Board for clemency, officials said Wednesday.
Steven Ray Thacker, 42, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death in connection with a multistate crime spree in which he was accused of killing three people in three states.
In Oklahoma, Thacker received the death penalty after he pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges related to the December 1999 stabbing death of Laci Dawn Hill, 25, of Bixby.
A federal appeals court upheld Thacker's Oklahoma conviction and sentence in April. He is scheduled to be executed March 12 in McAlester.
Hill had advertised a pool table for sale at her home, and Thacker answered the ad. Authorities said Thacker admitted to pulling a knife on Hill and demanding money. He also told them he took a credit card from her, forced her into his car and drove her to a cabin near Chouteau, where he raped and strangled her, authorities said.
Thacker has also been convicted and sentenced to death in Tennessee for the Jan. 2, 2000, killing of tow truck driver Ray Patterson, 52.
Thacker was sentenced to life in prison in Missouri after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in the death of Forrest Boyd, 24, on Jan. 1, 2000, at Boyd's home in Aldrich, Mo.
- from the Associated Press
Perkins man charged with abusing son for liking OU
PERKINS - A Perkins man is accused of abusing his 9-year-old son because the child expressed support for the University of Oklahoma.
Gannon Wade Mendez, 42, was charged Feb. 14 in Payne County District Court with one count of child abuse.
Perkins police were contacted Feb. 1 by the Department of Human Services after the Payne County Youth Shelter in Stillwater reported that a 9-year-old boy was severely bruised, Officer Charles Danker wrote in a court affidavit.
The boy told investigators that he was disciplined by his father on Jan. 29 for telling another student at Sangre Ridge Elementary School in Stillwater that "he didn't like OSU," the affidavit indicates.
Mendez is accused of striking the child with a wooden paddle, resulting in injuries so severe that he missed school Jan. 30 and Jan 31, according to the affidavit.
After he showed his bruises to a teacher and other students, the boy was taken into protective custody, the affidavit states.
When asked if he had been hit by Mendez before, the boy said his father punches and squeezes his nose until it bleeds, the affidavit says.
The affidavit also alleges that Mendez put the boy through a workout called the "Thabo Express" before school each morning. The child had to complete various exercises that included push-ups and jumping exercises throughout the night, the document alleges.
- KENDRICK MARSHALL, World Staff Writer
Kansas man shot by police during Craig County chase
VINITA - The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Vinita Police Department in investigating a police-involved shooting early Wednesday.
The shooting happened about 3:30 a.m. a half-mile north of the U.S. 69 and Oklahoma 66 junction, the OSBI reported.
Authorities said two Vinita police officers and a Big Cabin police officer were pursuing a vehicle down a dead-end road.
The driver, Michael O'Mara, 24, of Wichita, Kan., reportedly turned the vehicle around and drove toward the officers, the OSBI said. One of the officers then shot O'Mara.
O'Mara was taken to an area hospital, where he was treated and released, authorities said. He was booked into the Craig County Jail on complaints of assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a controlled dangerous substance, records show.
The names of the officers involved were not released.
The Craig County District Attorney's Office will determine whether the shooting was justified.
- KENDRICK MARSHALL, World Staff Writer