Law Enforcement & Fire
MUSKOGEE — An inmate who escaped from a McClain County jail transport van was captured in Muskogee County, the Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office reported.
Skipper Eugene Rowland, 35, was being taken from the Muskogee County jail to the McClain County jail Tuesday when he escaped.
McClain County deputies were taking Rowland from the Muskogee County jail, where he was being held on attempted escape and burglary charges, to McClain County, where he was scheduled to appear in court on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance.
But Rowland, of Warner, escaped the McClain County van about 12:30 p.m. Tuesday near U.S. 266 and State Highway 52 east of Dewar, the Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office reported.
Rowland managed to get loose from leg restraints and belly chain while in the van and then escaped through a door when the driver stopped at the intersection, Muskogee County Sheriff Bob Frazier said Wednesday. Rowland had twice before tried to escape from custody through a window at the Muskogee County jail, Frazier said. Rowland had already been charged with escape in those cases, he said.
Law enforcement searching for inmate who escaped in Okmulgee County
Law enforcement officers are searching for Skipper E. Rowland, 35, who escaped from an inmate transport transport vehicle at the intersection of Oklahoma 52 and U.S. 266, also known as Wildcat Junction, about 1 p.m between Henryetta and Morris Tuesday afternoon.
Tuesday evening the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office received information of a stolen vehicle taken from the area where escaped inmate Skipper Rowland was last seen. The vehicle was taken a few hours after Rowland escaped and is currently believed to be occupied by him.
The vehicle is a Red 1999 Ford F-350 Flatbed with a White Feed Bin on the back. The tag number displayed on the vehicle is Oklahoma 743-JNF.
The public is asked to contact 911 immediately if they see Rowland or the vehicle, but not to approach him. He is considered armed and dangerous.
By Wesley Coburn - ONN
Shortly after 1 a.m. Tuesday, June 20, the Okmulgee Police Department responded to a report of a shooting near Lafayette and Miami. At the scene, police found Antonio Thierry, 32, with multiple gunshot wounds. A short time later, Darius McGee, 21, brought himself to Okmulgee Hospital. Both victims are from Okmulgee, and police believe they were shot in the same area. They were taken to hospitals in Tulsa, where their current status is unknown.
Investigators processed the scene and collected evidence. An investigation for further details is ongoing, though it is too early for a known motive or an exact understanding of what transpired. When known, further information will be distributed by police at an appropriate time.
Anyone with information on this event is encouraged to call the Okmulgee Police Department at 918-756-3511.
Okmulgee County, OKLA - Chief Deputy Robert Heath has been placed on administrative leave as result of a criminal investigation in another jurisdiction.
The alleged incident stems from a domestic situation that did not occur in Okmulgee County and was outside of Chief Deputy Heath's professional position a release from the Sheriff's office states.
The Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office takes these matters seriously and the alleged actions does not reflect any views or opinions of the Okmulgee County Sheriff's Office the release said.
The OCSO said it is a personal matter and will not be releasing any other information as the case in in another county.
Okmulgee -- OSBI special agents are investigating an officer-Involved shooting that occurred Wednesday afternoon in Okmulgee after a driver refused to stop, which initiated a high speed chase through town. A passenger in the vehicle was shot by an Okmulgee police officer at approximately 3:15 p.m.
The series of events that led up to the pursuit was when Okmulgee County deputies were attempting an undercover buy of items from Michael David Sanchez, 31, who was selling outside a Walmart store at 1800 South Wood Drive. Before deputies could make the buy, Sanchez sped away in a Chevy Malibu sedan. Okmulgee police officers joined the pursuit which sped through residential streets at high speeds. Several officers used their patrol cars to block Sanchez' path near 4th and Taylor at the Taylor Drive Apartments.
Sanchez attempted to drive reckless around the vehicles when an officer fired his weapon, striking the passenger, Amanda Morrow in the neck. She was flown to a Tulsa hospital. Sanchez was arrested on an outstanding warrant for a probation violation. Sanchez faces many more criminal complaints.
The Okmulgee Police Department requested OSBI special agents investigate the shooting. When the case is completed, agents will present a comprehensive, written report to the district attorney. The DA will determine how they will proceed once all evidence is gathered and investigated.
Okmulgee County Emergency Management is urging everyone in the county to be aware that critical fire weather continues be a danger all across the area this weekend.
THERE IS A BURN BAN IN OKMULGEE COUNTY.
County fire crews have responded to more than a half dozen grass fires, several of which were near homes and all were man caused.
Under this burn ban in Okmulgee County it is unlawful for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, range, crop, or other wildlands, or to build a campfire or bonfire, or to burn trash or other materials that may cause a forest, grass, range, crop or other wildlands fire.
Any person convicted of violating this burn during a ban is subject a fine of not more than $500, to imprisonment for not more than one year imprisonment or to both fine and imprisonment.
Thank you, OKMULGEE COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT
Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Deputy Ethan Mulkey has prevailed in confiscating a large amount of marijuana in a weekend traffic stop. Saturday Mulkey was making a routine traffic stop when he discovered not only illegal drugs, but two illegal citizens Armando Rios, 30, the driver of the vehicle and Maria Isabel, 21, transporting pot.
The two were traveling westbound on I-40 and to their demise after making an unsafe lane change and then following too closely behind another vehicle their vehicle was stopped. In the report Deputy Mulkey said the two acted suspicious and shortly after he discovered the huge bundles of weed.
The vehicle was seized by OCSO and the two were booked into the Okmulgee County jail on complaints of trafficking in illegal drugs.
They will be turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement after they face their charges.
By Betty Anderson
Fire Chief Bruce Swearingen is working hard training new firefighter Tanner McEhaney who started with the Okmulgee Fire Department on November 23, 2016.
McEhaney was born and raised in Hitchita, Oklahoma and has returned to his hometown to live. After high school, he went to college and was a volunteer firefighter for Hitchita Fire Department and Okay Fire Department for three years. After college, he went in another direction and became a professional steer wrestler and traveled with the rodeo for a couple of years winning several ACRA and CWRA awards. When he came back to Hitchita, he decided he wanted to pursue firefighting as a profession.
McEhaney feels very fortunate to become an Okmulgee Firefighter and is training to take his exam. He has already completed his Hazmat Awareness and Hazmat OPS. He said he really enjoys working at the Fire Department and working with a great group of guys.
By Betty Anderson
Fire Chief Bruce Swearingen is happy to introduce Firefighter Ross Kellner to Okmulgee after a position opened up recently within his department.
ONN spoke with Kellner and learned that he decided he wanted to be a firefighter right out of high school and began his quest by being a volunteer firefighter for the Beggs Fire Department for 3 years. He then furthered his journey by beginning his firefighter training at EOC Tech Fire Academy in Choctaw. Kellner was born and raised in Morris, is married and has two daughters, ages 6 and 1 ½ years old.
“This is where I want to be, I am here to stay and am not going anywhere. This is the best place on earth. My goal is to retire from the Okmulgee Fire Department,” said Kellner.
Okmulgee Police reported today that they enlisted the assistance of the Oklahoma Lake Patrol, the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office, the Okmulgee Emergency Management Department, the Creek Nation Lighthorse Police, and the Creek Nation Emergency Management Department and conducted a search of the Okmulgee Lake for a fourth time.
They discovered that the 2013 Ford F150 that was reported missing and believed to be driven by Larry Andrews at the time of his disappearance has been recovered.
The vehicle was found submerged in the Okmulgee Lake. Chief Joe Prentice believes the reason it was not found on previous searches was due to problems with sonar equipment.
At this point and based on the evidence investigators do not believe there was any foul play related to the discovery of Mr. Andrews’ body or the vehicle.
Morris Okla. – Today around 9:12 a.m. the Okmulgee County Sheriff Office (OCSO) received a telephone call reporting the deaths of several family members. Deputies responded to a home in the 17,000 block of Highway 62 and Morris and discovered the bodies of a man, a woman and two children.
The initial investigation reveals that there appeared to have been a disturbance, which resulted in an apparent triple murder and suicide.
Names of the victims have not been released. OCS reported that the bodies would be released to the medical examiner, who will make the final determination as to the cause of deaths.
This is an active investigation of the Okmulgee County Sheriff’s Office and the District 25 Violent crime task force. The Sheriff’s office is not seeking any suspects.
Sheriff Eddy Rice commented on how disappointed he was to see the media once again flocking to the scene of a horrible tragedy where family and friends were gathered to console each other.
“Enough is enough, said Sheriff Rice. “this is a trend that is becoming out of hand. There is no longer any type of respect from most media outlets today, the way I knew it years ago. This has gradually grown to extremism. Today we had to remove journalist and camera crews from around the home. We had family members begging in tears for some relief from being bombarded. I was told today by news reporters that ‘it is their job to inform the public’, but I ask, how far do you need to go? Is what they are doing really worth the sacrifice in the real scheme of things? I especially ask the producers this same question. I am pretty sure the answer I will get, until it happens to their own loved ones.”
Rice said he is implementing plans to put a stop to extreme reporting in his county and hopes that other law enforcement agencies will follow.
“I mean no disrespect to the field of journalism and I have no problem in releasing the public record but I would ask the media to consider these rules with a reporters own basic questions, who – who are you damaging, what – is most important, when – is it a proper time to ask, film, photograph and record, where – can you use tact in gathering information and why – are you going to unnecessary extremes.”
Sheriff Rice said he has always had a good relationship with the media and hopes that things can be turned around and refocused in a positive manner.
"Let's not forget that this is a sad day, it's a difficult day for us at sheriff's office and the people who have been touched by this incident. Again another tragedy has struck our community. Our hearts go out to those affected by this tragedy."