Crime

Stealth legislation to redistrict courts raises stink

Click for timeline graphic: duncan timeline A bill that would eliminate some of District Attorney Rex Duncan’s judicial adversaries flew under radar last week, passed the Senate, and then ran headlong into intense opposition from judges, lawyers and myriad others who work in the courts. House Bill 2416, filed at the behest of Duncan, began life […]


A cruel and tragic end

A cruel and tragic end

This is a first-person account of the events leading up the the death of Mark Aldridge; the author both knew Aldridge and was involved in discovering that he was dead on Jan. 15, 2016.   Mark Aldridge, a man who had a promising career as the chief executive and chief financial officer of several hospitals […]


Pawhuska man arrested for Kansas murder of estranged wife’s boyfriend

Pawhuska man arrested for Kansas murder of estranged wife's boyfriend

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office arrested a Pawhuska man Wednesday afternoon on a fugitive warrant out of Kansas, where he is charged with first degree murder and arson in the death of his estranged wife’s boyfriend. Thad Christopher Green, 32, is accused of killing Cameron Wawrzynaik, 35, at Wawrzynaik’s home just outside Independence, Kan. Kansas […]


Mother charged in Holt case

Mother charged in Holt case

The mother of two brothers charged with first-degree murder in the death of Rick Holt has been charged with being an accessory after the killing by instructing the youngest son to erase texts and GPS data that were evidence of the crime. Ann Marie Reece, 47, was arrested Wednesday morning on the charge and soon […]


Grand jury finds wrong where judges didn’t: Pawnee judge indicted

District Attorney Rex Duncan’s arguments that Pawnee County Associate District Court Judge Patrick Pickerill violated the law when he created a drug court failed at every level up to and including the Oklahoma Supreme Court. But on Friday, the Multi-County Grand Jury bucked all of those decisions and indicted the judge on nine felony counts […]


Tales of Two Lawmen

Tales of Two Lawmen

On the sunny morning of Sept. 9, the Osage County Sheriff’s Office was hard at work on the Rick Holt homicide, but in one corner, two legends of law enforcement sat back and didn’t pay it any mind. They had already earned their stripes and had many a murder and many a kidnapping behind them. […]


Two brothers charged with Holt murder

Two brothers charged with Holt murder

Two brothers were charged Tuesday afternoon with first-degree murder with deliberate intent, conspiracy, kidnapping and the desecration of the corpse of their alleged victim: Rick Holt, a popular Pawhuska cowboy, oilfield worker and man about town. Jeremy Keith Reece, 31, and Tyler Wayne Reece, 18, were arraigned on the charges Tuesday afternoon in Osage County […]


A patrol car joyride ends with arrest

A patrol car joyride ends with arrest

When you take a joyride in a sheriff’s patrol car, remember to turn off the flashing red and blue lights. According to the Osage County Sheriff’s Office, a petite woman wriggled her handcuffed hands from behind her back to her front, then wriggled through the hole in the cage separating the front compartment of the […]


Eaves charged with murder

Thomas Mongrain Eaves was charged in U.S. District Court with second-degree murder on Wednesday, and the criminal complaint against him says that his story waffled vastly after he delivered the dead body of Starr Pennington to Pawhuska Hospital early Aug. 25. The complaint by FBI agent Jamie Cavitt says that Pennington, 42, died of blunt-force […]


The Week in Photos

The Week in Photos

A Lovable Rascal, Mourned

A Lovable Rascal, Mourned

Holt’s disappearance – then death – rocked people of Pawhuska, where almost everybody knew him from his rodeoing, working in the oilfield, socializing at the Pawhuska Country Club and bar, and being a constant and friendly presence – and having a way with the ladies – around town.  Two brothers have been arrested and are […]


Brothers implicated in disappearance, death of Pawhuska oilman and cowboy

Brothers implicated in disappearance, death of Pawhuska oilman and cowboy

Two brothers have been implicated in the apparent death of a well-known Pawhuska oilman and cowboy who disappeared Saturday morning from his home south of town and whose body has not yet been recovered. The disappearance and death of Rick Holt, 46, stunned Pawhuskans, who offered up prayers and other well-wishes when they believed he […]


Cop involved in felon gun deal

An Osage County reserve deputy traded a firearm to a convicted felon in March in exchange for construction work which was never completed. The reserve deputy, Bobby Sappington, met with Michael Whitesell at Whitesell’s business, Big Mike’s Welding and Fabrication, in Skiatook. There, Whitesell agreed to build a 700 foot pipe fence at Sappington’s residence […]


Assault case declined again

The Payne County District Attorney, specially assigned to the case of a Cleveland police officer Hominy police wanted charged with domestic assault, has declined to press charges. DA Laura Thomas said that evidence was lacking in the case, and that police should have interviewed officer Raymond Leach, who also co-chairs the Osage County Republican Party, […]


High Court rejects DA case

Without comment, eight of the nine justices of the Oklahoma Supreme Court threw out an application by District Attorney Rex Duncan in which he sought to have a Pawnee County judge’s order creating a drug court vacated. The high court also tossed Duncan’s similar challenge to another order by Pawnee County Associate District Judge Patrick […]


Avant man given life in sex case

Tony Arthur Robinette did not look surprised as deputy sheriffs handcuffed and led him from the courtroom after his conviction last Thursday on two counts of child sexual abuse. The jury recommended that the maximum allowable penalty be imposed for the charges – life imprisonment. The Avant man was convicted for two instances in 2013 […]


Kidnapping, rape trial gets under way

Kidnapping, rape trial gets under way

The first day in the trial of Carl Leon Mathis, the Osage County man charged with five felonies including kidnapping and rape, ended Tuesday with the prosecution’s opening statement. Mathis also faces charges of forcible sodomy and assault and battery. Mathis’ accuser is Shannon Eastman, with whom Mathis had a relationship from 1990 to around […]


DA recuses in GOP cop case

In the wake of a complaint to the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office, District Attorney Rex Duncan has recused himself from a case involving a Cleveland police officer accused – but never charged – of assaulting his estranged wife in Hominy. Raymond Leach, who has previously worked for the Pawhuska and Hominy police as well as […]


Drug Court battle, Round 3

District Attorney Rex Duncan is continuing to throw up barriers to the establishment of a drug court in Pawnee County by challenging a second order creating such a court and declining to participate in a meeting to organize it. Duncan is challenging three separate administrative orders creating the drug court mandated by Gov. Mary Fallin […]


Perjury case tossed, hard

The District Attorney’s Office, which pressed a perjury charge against a Cleveland man who subsequently won election to that city’s city council, saw the charge dismissed after a preliminary hearing on Wednesday. At issue: A case that the candidate’s lawyer, Bransford Shoemake of Pawhuska, said was baffling from the moment the defendant, Keith Buntin, walked […]


Cop canned because of fatal hit and run

An Osage Nation police officer involved in a hit-and-run incident earlier this month does not work for the tribe anymore. On Thursday, Osage Nation Attorney General Holli Wells issued a statement announcing that Corey Stewart’s employment with the tribe was terminated due his involvement in a May 1 hit-and-run accident in Tulsa. The announcement came […]


Another pleas out in Reyes shooting

Kristen Ramey, one of four people accused of felonies in a Pawhuska shooting, became the second defendant to agree to a plea deal in which the charges against her were vastly reduced. In March, Ramey was charged with being an accessory to shooting with intent to kill in the January shooting of Reginald Reyes on […]


After sentencing, rustler dies

A Ralston man facing jail time for cattle rustling and dumping medical waste into the Arkansas River died Sunday in Oklahoma City. Twenty-seven year old Garrett Gibson was pronounced dead at the University of Oklahoma Medical Center. Citing HIPAA, a spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections declined to elaborate on how Gibson died other […]


After a rejection, no-contest plea accepted in sex case

Charles Tatum, an Avant man of diminished mental capacity who was accused of sexually abusing a young child, entered a plea of no contest to the charge on Monday. In February, Tatum had entered a guilty plea that was rejected by District Court Judge M. John Kane because Tatum said he had no recollection of […]