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Cases Of Kevin Adams Tulsa Criminal Lawyer in the News

State v. Ronald Mason

Lacking evidence, murder case nixed
BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page A12 of News

Two other defendants remain charged in the April 5 Tulsa slaying.

A Tulsa County judge dismissed a murder charge Friday against one of three defendants who was accused of an April 5 fatal shooting.

District Judge Jesse Harris found that insufficient evidence was presented at a July preliminary hearing to support a first-degree murder charge against Ronald Steve Mason Jr.

Mason, Cleon Christopher Johnson and Cedric L. Jenkins were charged with murdering Brandon McGee, 26.

McGee was shot while in a car in an apartment complex parking lot in the 3600 block of South Lakewood Ave., police said.

Attorney Kevin Adams, representing Mason, said evidence at the preliminary hearing showed that Mason's fingerprint was recovered on an outside window of McGee's car.

Testimony indicated that Mason, 19, of Tulsa, had talked with McGee earlier on the night of April 5.

Investigators can't say when that fingerprint was placed on the car, Adams said.

Testimony was presented that Jenkins told someone that Mason did the shooting, but while that evidence can be used against Jenkins, it would be inadmissible against Mason, Adams said.

The fingerprint on the car was not enough to hold him for murder, the defense lawyer said.

The ruling by Harris entitled Mason to be released from jail, a court official said.

The 24-year-old Johnson, who records show is also known as Cleon Christopher Smith, and Jenkins, 17, remain in custody in this case and on other charges.

At a July preliminary hearing, Special Judge Carlos Chappelle had found sufficient evidence to order Mason held for trial on the murder charge.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

USA v. Jimmy Ritz

Three men found guilty in area meth conspiracy
DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page A22 of News

Three local men were convicted Friday of participating in a methamphetamine conspiracy that prosecutors say resulted in the manufacture and distribution of at least 15 kilograms of the drug throughout northeastern Oklahoma from June 1999 through September.

Morgan Earl Windrix, David Allen Westcott and Charles Arnold Mook all were found guilty by jurors in federal court in Tulsa who deliberated for one day, concluding a three-week trial in the courtroom of U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan.

Windrix, 52, also was found guilty of two counts of possessing materials with the knowledge that they would be used in methamphetamine production and one count of possession with an intent to distribute the drug.

The jury also convicted Windrix -- the purported leader of the group -- of maintaining a place in Sperry for the purpose of manufacturing, distributing and using methamphetamine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad Greer and Shannon Henson referred to that 10-acre Osage County site as "The Hill," the place where much of the conspiracy unfolded.

However, Greer said related illegal activity took place in Tulsa, Broken Arrow, Creek County and Okmulgee County.

Westcott, 37, also was convicted of two counts of possessing materials with the knowledge that they would be used in methamphetamine production.

Mook, 43, also was found guilty of possessing materials with the knowledge that they would be used to make methamphetamine and possessing 17 firearms despite having a felony record.

However, the jury could not reach a verdict on a charge alleging that Mook possessed firearms in furtherance of a drug-trafficking crime.

A mistrial also was declared on two similar gun counts filed against Windrix.

Despite those deadlocks, Greer said he expects all three defendants to receive life sentences -- or at least penalties approaching life -- from Eagan on Nov. 21.

Windrix's attorney, Michael McGuire, said such projections are premature.

Greer and Henson reiterated Friday that they believe the plot led to the manufacture and distribution of at least 15 kilograms of methamphetamine. But McGuire said he was skeptical of the claim, and Westcott's attorney, Art Fleak, said Friday evening that it was "pure speculation."

Also Friday, the same jury acquitted 27-year-old Jimmy Eugene Ritz, who was charged only with the conspiracy count.

Ritz's attorney, Kevin Adams, said during his highly animated closing argument Thursday that his client had been "a drug addict just hanging out trying to get stoned" and was not a conspirator.

Ritz will not be free immediately. Adams said his client is serving time on a state court drug conviction and is due to be released in April.

Six other defendants in the case have pleaded guilty.

Ryan Brandy Langston, 30, pleaded guilty Feb. 7 to possessing equipment with an intent to facilitate the manufacture of methamphetamine.

Patrick Sean Hardy, 37, pleaded guilty Feb. 25 to supplying red phosphorus -- used in the production of methamphetamine -- while having a "reasonable cause to believe" that the recipients would take it to Windrix.

Andrew Charles Colucci, 34, pleaded guilty to a similar charge Jan. 10.

Thomas Alan Hoggatt, 23, pleaded guilty April 14 to possessing methamphetamine with an intent to distribute.

Amanda Jean Pedone, 23, pleaded guilty July 14 to a conspiracy charge that carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison.

Michael David Morrison, 22, pleaded guilty July 16 to possessing various chemicals used in methamphetamine production and then supplying them to Windrix and others.

Langston, Hardy, Colucci and Hoggatt will be sentenced Thursday. Pedone and Morrison will hear their punishments Sept. 26.

The case was investigated by the Tulsa Police Department's Special Investigations Division and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, as well as Osage, Creek and Okmulgee county law enforcement authorities, Greer said.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

State v. Ahmad Henry

Drive-by shooting case dismissed
BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page A13 of News

Charges linked to a drive-by shooting have been dismissed against two Tulsans because of a need for further investigation.

At a prosecutor's request, the case against Montie Reed, who is also known as Ahmad Henry, and Lorell Battle Jr. was dismissed Monday.

They were arrested in connection with the May 27 wounding of Mario Evans. Police reported that Evans was walking along 49th Place North near Cincinnati and Boston avenues when two shots were fired at him from a passing vehicle.

Evans' leg was grazed. He identified Reed as the driver and said Battle was a passenger, a police affidavit states.

Reed, 24, and Battle, 21, were arrested June 10, one day after they were jointly charged with shooting with an intent to kill.

Reed was charged under the name of Monty Reed and with the alias of Amond Henry, but he has signed court papers as Montie Reed and has been identified in some records and reports as Ahmad Henry.

In July, the charge against Reed and Battle was amended to using a vehicle to facilitate discharge of a weapon. A count of shooting with intent to injure was added against Battle.

Assistant District Attorney Mickey Hawkins recently asked to have the case dismissed, stating that police developed information that a third person could have been in the vehicle and might have been the shooter.

Reed has been released from jail. Battle remains in custody on unrelated matters.

The charges were filed on the same day local officials announced a new program designed to address gun violence, news reports show. Defense attorney Kevin Adams, representing Reed, maintains that the charges should not have been filed and contends that the timing of the program's announcement will "shed some light" on why Reed was charged.

Reed and Battle are former murder defendants in separate Tulsa slayings; neither man was convicted in those cases.

A jury acquitted Reed of a 2001 fatal shooting. A murder charge was dropped against Battle in 2001 because investigators could not locate a witness.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

State v. Ahmad Henry

Murder case filed twice fails to stick
BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page A15 of News

Jurors acquit the defendant in the August 2001 slaying of a Tulsa man.Photograph of Ahmad Henry, who was cleared of First Degree Murder Charges. Mr. Henry was represented by Tulsa Criminal Defense Lawyer Kevin Adams
A man who has been charged twice in the same Tulsa homicide was cleared Friday of first-degree murder.

Tulsa County jurors acquitted Ahmad Henry, also known as Monty Reed, in the slaying 18 months ago of Michael Gabriel White of Tulsa.

White, 19, was found dead early Aug. 11, 2001, in a yard in the 5400 block of North Frankfort Place. He had been shot in the chest.

Police said neighbors saw White running down the street before he fell into the yard, where he soon died. He had been shot once, Detective Jeff Felton said at the time.

"He wasn't running away from anything or to anywhere," Felton said. "He was just running. He was bleeding and lost consciousness in the yard."

Witnesses reportedly told police that they had seen Henry pass White in a vehicle and then get out of the vehicle with a handgun. He was wearing a dark-colored, hooded jacket, they said.

Several minutes passed, and witnesses reportedly heard three gunshots and saw Henry running from the shooting scene with the jacket in his hand.

Several people who were interviewed told detectives that Henry had told them he "shot at" the victim "but missed," records indicate.

Detectives connected the homicide with a disturbance that had occurred about five hours earlier in the 500 block of East 61st Place North. Police were called to that disturbance, in which White and Henry reportedly were involved, but no arrests were made.

At Henry's trial, prosecutors presented two witnesses who said they had seen him in the vicinity of the shooting, and one of those witnesses said White later admitted the shooting.

There was no testimony from anyone who said they saw the shooting, and there was no physical evidence to implicate Henry, defense attorney Kevin Adams said.

Prosecutors "didn't have the evidence" in a case involving "problematic" witnesses, he said.

While charged under the name of Henry, the defendant is typically known by the name of Reed. He did not testify, but he has denied being the shooter, the defense lawyer said.

Henry originally was charged Aug. 17, 2001, with murdering White. Because of witness problems, that charge was dropped two months later before a preliminary hearing.

The charge was refiled Jan. 8, 2002, when investigators said new evidence had been developed. At that time, Henry was serving a 10-year prison sentence linked to a probation revocation for a Muskogee County conviction on a 1995 charge of using a vehicle to discharge a weapon, records show.

Friday's verdict concluded Henry's trial in Associate District Judge Caroline Wall's court.

The trial was interrupted Wednesday so that the defense attorney could be with his wife, who gave birth to a daughter at St. Francis Hospital. The trial resumed Thursday.

Henry, 24, remained in the Tulsa Jail on Friday night, where he was being held until he could be placed back into Department of Corrections custody, records show.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

USA v. Carl Bailey

Ohio man convicted in marijuana scheme
DAVID HARPER World Staff Writer
Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page A11 of News

An Ohio man was found guilty Wednesday in Tulsa of conspiring to distribute what authorities claim was more than 200 pounds of marijuana.

Carl Bailey, 55, had gone to trial twice before on the Dec. 6 indictment. On Sept. 11, a federal jury failed to reach a verdict on the allegation that Bailey led a marijuana-distribution plot to take the drug from Tucson, Ariz., to Ohio.

Bailey's first mistrial occurred March 12 -- before a jury considered the evidence -- after a witness for the prosecution mentioned that the defendant had served time in prison.

Jurors were not supposed to know that Bailey had been imprisoned previously, reportedly for a drug offense.

Bailey, of Euclid, Ohio, was charged with conspiring with Akil Kontar and Jerry Steele to distribute marijuana.

According to a Drug Enforcement Administration affidavit, the drug was intercepted by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol on Jan. 23, 2002, on the Will Rogers Turnpike as Kontar, 25, and Steele, 29, were traveling east in separate vans.

Steele was sentenced to a year and 10 months in prison and Kontar to a year and four months before Bailey was indicted.

The U.S. Attorney's Office alleged that Bailey -- also known as Imhotep Amin Ra -- recruited the two men to take the marijuana from Tucson to Ohio and gave them vehicles, directions and money for the trip.

Defense attorney Kevin Adams attacked the credibility of Steele and Kontar, both of whom implicated Bailey. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Neal Kirkpatrick said other evidence links Bailey to the plot.

U.S. Senior District Judge H. Dale Cook will sentence Bailey in January. Kirkpatrick said a sentencing range of between four and six years is possible.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

State v. Charles White

Man cleared in abuse of children
Staff Reports
Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page a18 of News

A Tulsan who had spent about 7-1/2 months in jail was cleared Friday of charges that he injured three children and sexually abused one of them.

A Tulsa County jury acquitted Leandrew Charles White of three counts of injuring children -- family members who were then ages 6, 10 and 12 -- on Dec. 26.

Jurors also exonerated White, 36, of another count linked to an allegation that he had sexual contact with the 12-year-old girl on a different occasion.

White, who had been jailed since Jan. 23, was released from custody following the verdicts, which ended a four-day trial in District Judge Tom Gillert's court.

Defense attorney Kevin Adams maintained that White was the victim of a "witch hunt" and that child protective-service officials had "gone too far."

White testified that he spanked the children to discipline them but had no intent to injure them.

White denied any sexual contact with the older child, and Adams maintained that she told a lie to get even after she was disciplined.

Assistant District Attorney Larry Edwards contended that White not only left bruises with a belt but also knocked a 10- year-old boy to the floor and kicked him in the ribs.

Another child was left with a bruised retina and ringing ears, Edwards said.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

State v. Carl Berry

Defendant's associate testifies in murder trial
BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page A11 of News

Photograph of Carl Berry, Caption reads, His attorney Kevin Adams has attacked the credibility of Chailla McCully and other prosecution witnesses

Carl Dewayne Berry was "acting nervous" and was "just white as a ghost" when he left the scene of a burglary where a woman's body was later found, Tulsa County jurors were told Thursday.

Chailla McCully, who said she went there with Berry, testified that she heard no gunshots while she waited in a truck outside a Tulsa home March 1.

She said she heard Berry tell her cousin, Robert Dewayne McCully, some time later that "it wasn't supposed to happen like that."

"Nothing else was said after that," she said.

The 22-year-old woman said she "freaked out" after she saw the house -- and a report of a homicide -- on a television news broadcast.

Berry "told me to shut up or I was going to be just like that woman," she testified.

The first-degree murder trial of Berry, 31, resumes Friday.

After a two-day selection process, a jury was seated Wednesday, and testimony began Thursday.

Prosecutors Bill Musseman and Sean Baker contend that Berry fatally shot Rhoda Chastain, 64, while he committed an afternoon burglary at her home in the 5300 block of East 21st Place.

Jurors saw a police videotape that showed the slain woman face down on the floor with a gunshot wound to her head and a pool of blood staining the carpet.

Berry's attorney, Kevin Adams, has attacked the credibility of Chailla McCully and other prosecution witnesses and suggested that they have personal motives for blaming Berry.

Dewayne McCully, 24, is scheduled to be tried separately later on a charge of first- degree murder.

Chailla McCully is charged with being an accessory after the fact. She is serving a three-year prison term that was imposed in July after she pleaded guilty in two unrelated cases -- possessing a precursor chemical for the production of methamphetamine and possessing a stolen vehicle.

She said Thursday that she did not tell the truth during police questioning about the homicide. She said she also lied at a preliminary hearing for Berry and Dewayne McCully when she indicated that she was hearing voices.

She said she did not want to testify at that May hearing, at which time she claimed a Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination in response to questions.

McCully said she was "scared" of Berry. At Musseman's request Thursday, she read from a letter that she said she received from Berry while they were in jail. It said that if "nobody talks, everybody walks. That means no time for no one."

When cross-examined by Adams, McCully indicated that she previously had heard voices from a dead family member and another person, but "not for a couple of years now."

She denied having any deal with prosecutors on how her accessory charge will be resolved. Adams pointed out that the accessory case -- filed March 7 -- has been inactive for months.

McCully indicated that she drove Berry in a truck and that Dewayne McCully followed them in a car to a home near Bell's Amusement Park on March 1.

"They said they were going to work. They were going to burglarize a house," she said.

McCully indicated that she stayed outside and that her cousin took up a lookout position. Berry -- whom she had seen with a revolver -- walked toward the front door, she said.

Berry later emerged from the garage with a "blanket full of stuff," she said. She did not get any of the loot, she said.

Berry and Dewayne McCully have been in jail since March.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

State v. Delvin Golden

Two to face trial in slaying
BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page A20 of News

Their suspected accomplice was killed by police in a holdup.
A judge ruled Tuesday that two men must face trial for murder in a case in which their suspected robbery accomplice was killed in what prosecutors determined was a justified police shooting.

Photograph of Murder Defendant Charles DickensAt a preliminary hearing, Tulsa County Special Judge Clancy Smith ordered Delvin Lamar Golden and Christopher Michael Dickens held on two felonies -- robbery with a firearm and first-degree murder.

First Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond contends that Golden, 23, and Dickens, 22, by law can be held accountable in the death of Charles Turner because it was "foresee able" that taking part in an armed robbery could result in a killing.

Turner, 20, was shot in the head during a Sept. 25 exchange of gunfire with officers who responded to a report of a robbery at a McDonald's restaurant at 2245 Southwest Blvd., investigators said.

Police said Golden and Dickens were arrested at separate locations near the restaurant.

Prosecutors say a principal in an armed robbery can be charged with "felony murder" if a death results from that inherently dangerous conduct, even if the defendant didn't pull the trigger and the slain person was involved in the robbery.

It is not unusual for a nontriggerman to be prosecuted for murder if he commits a felony that results in a death. Photograph of murder defendant Delvin GoldenBut the law is used when the person who is killed is a target of the crime or an innocent bystander.

Police said three men entered the McDonald's and took money before fleeing around 10 p.m. Officers arrived and pursued them.

Police said Turner fired multiple shots and wounded a police dog, Rex, in the leg. Officer Shayne Thomas and Cpl. Tom Milburn returned fire, striking Turner.

Defense attorney Kevin Adams, representing Golden, challenged the legal basis for the murder charge Tuesday. He said testimony showed that "the robbery was complete" and "done with" when Turner was shot.

Police said Golden was found hiding beneath a boat in a yard. He was "not found anywhere near the field" where Turner was shot, Adams said.

On behalf of Dickens, Assistant Public Defender Julia Allen also maintained that the murder charge should be dismissed.

She indicated that Turner's death was linked to an "intervening act" by Turner alone -- the gunshots that he fired.

Detective Bob Little testified that Golden said "he was forced to take part in the robbery."

Dickens said he and Turner were cousins and indicated that all three men planned the robbery together, Little testified.

Dickens and Golden are in the Tulsa Jail.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

State v. Robert Rolen

Former Tulsa police officer sentenced to 10 years on drug charges
BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer
Tulsa World (Final Home Edition), Page a15 of News

A judge sentenced former Tulsa Police Officer Robert Rolen Jr. on Friday to 10 years in prison for drug-relatedcrimes that a prosecutor categorized as a "betrayal of trust."

Tulsa County Associate District Judge Deirdre Dexter did not follow a Department of Corrections background report, which recommended that Rolen be placed on probation as a first-time, nonviolent offender.

"I can't believe this," Rolen said before being escorted by deputy sheriffs to jail.

Photograph of Defendant Robert Rolen. Caption reads: Police Chief Ron Palmer fired Rolen, a patrol officer, in February 2001, 10 days after he was charged.

At a sentencing hearing Friday, defense attorney Kevin Adams said prosecutors "want to throw the book at Mr. Rolen" in a case in which Rolen's co-defendant and girlfriend, Shannon Dugan, received a five-year probation on July 15.

"Treat him equally," Adams urged on Rolen's behalf. Dugan is "arguably more culpable," and "she is less willing to accept responsibility."

But Assistant District Attorney Larry Edwards said that based on his former status as a police officer and his "betrayal of the justice system," Rolen "should be treated differently."

Edwards questioned "how many cases are we going to lose" because jurors no longer believe police because they have heard about Rolen's activities.

Rolen, 39, pleaded guilty June 3 to three felonies -- delivery of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with an intent to distribute and possessing a firearm while in the commission of a felony -- and one misdemeanor -- possession of drug paraphernalia.

He had no deal with prosecutors to govern his punishment. Edwards said no plea negotiation had been extend ed to Rolen because "we wanted a jury of his peers to decide what this case was worth."

Dexter handed Rolen three 10-year prison terms for the felonies and a one-year jail sentence for the misdemeanor, all to run concurrently.

She also imposed about $50,000 in fines and victims compensation assessments, although such financial penalties typically go uncollected while a defendant is in prison.

Police Chief Ron Palmer fired Rolen, a patrol officer, in February 2001, 10 days after he was charged.

Rolen had been with the department since 1985, having joined the force as a community service officer. He became a full- fledged police officer in 1993.

Charges were filed after a woman who admitted being a methamphetamine user cooperated with investigators and made a "controlled buy" at the defendants' Tulsa residence.

She indicated that she obtained the "dope" from Dugan while Rolen stood in a doorway.

Officers searched the residence a day later and recovered methamphetamine from Dugan's robe pocket and from a bedroom dresser, police reported. The firearm count stemmed from evidence that two loaded handguns -- including Rolen's service revolver -- were recovered from the bedroom.

According to a background report, Rolen indicated that he agreed to give the informant half a gram of methamphetamine for $50 after she called repeatedly "begging for some."

He said he had been selling $50 worth of meth every couple of days out of his residence after purchasing the drugs from various suppliers.

Edwards noted that a marijuana smoking pipe was also recovered from Rolen's patrol unit.

Rolen said he began selling drugs because of "financial difficulties," including child-support payments, police reported.

Rolen has five children with three ex-wives. In one domestic case, Special Judge Darlene Crutchfield in June found him in contempt of court for not making child-support payments and sentenced him to 180 days in jail. He has been serving that time on weekends, records show.

While free on bail and awaiting sentencing in the drug case, he tested positive for methamphetamine usage, a report said.

Dugan pleaded guilty to three counts -- delivery of methamphetamine, possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

State v. Thomas Rodgers

Former teacher cleared on drug charges
RHETT MORGAN World Staff Writer

A former part-time Sand Springs teacher has been cleared of two drug charges, court records indicate.

Felony counts of unlawful possession of a methamphetamine and unlawful possession of a precursor substance -- pseudoephedrine -- against Tulsa's Thomas Edward Rodgers, 43, were dismissed Thursday, documents show.

The action came a week after Special Judge Todd Singer sustained a defense motion to suppress the evidence.

A motion filed by defense attorneys Rob Nigh and Kevin Adams claimed that evidence was seized only after Jenks Police Officer Rick Weaver expanded the scope of his search of Rodgers' vehicle in March, records show.

Nigh said Rodgers no longer is employed by Charles Page High School, where he used to work part-time, teaching career education classes and, according to Weaver, coached ninth-grade baseball.

His life was, of course, disrupted," Nigh said. "He was required to retain an attorney and take the steps necessary to defeat the charges. That's what he did."

Rodgers was stopped for allegedly speeding at 3:57 a.m. March 14 in the 12600 block of South Elm in Jenks, Weaver said.

Weaver never articulated any basis for reasonable suspicion that drugs might be present on that date, the motion states. By expanding the purpose of the traffic stop without any reasonable suspicion of illegal activity, Weaver violated Rodgers' constitutional rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure, the motion claims.

After asking for Rodgers' driver's license and proof of insurance the day Rodgers was stopped, the officer saw a plastic bag and a box of 9 mm shells in the glove box, a police report claims. Upon being questioned about whether he had a gun on him or in his vehicle, Rodgers agreed to step out of the truck and was asked what was in the plastic bag, documents claim.

Rodgers reportedly verbally consented to a search of his truck. In the vehicle were found two small plastic bags, one bag containing a methamphetamine rock and the other bag containing methamphetamine residue, records show.

Weaver also claims to have discovered 20 packages of ephedrine behind Rodgers' seat; in the toolbox in the bed of the truck he reportedly found a Dr Pepper bottle that contained a milky liquid that tested positive for ephedrine.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

State v. Stephanie Price

Starved child's mother given prison term
BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer

A Tulsa woman who was charged with allowing her husband to starve their infant son was sentenced Friday to five years in prison plus 25 years of probation.

Stephanie Lynn Price, 25, pleaded no contest Jan. 15 to permitting co-defendant Bennie Douglas Price to harm their baby, Nathan, two years ago.

Tulsa County Associate District Judge Deirdre Dexter imposed the split 30-year term in accordance with a plea deal.

Bennie Price, 26, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in November 2000, when he pleaded guilty to injuring the boy.

Nathan Price weighed more than 8 pounds when he was born in September 1999. When he was almost 5 months old, his mother took him to a hospital. He then weighed about 1 pound less than at birth, police said.

Upon being admitted to St. John Medical Center in February 2000, Nathan had a body temperature of 93 degrees, which later dropped to 91. A physician concluded that he suffered from "chronic starvation," police said.

Nathan was "dehydrated and malnourished to a near lethal level," said an affidavit by Detective Darren Carlock. Bennie Price said he withheld food from Nathan "because he wanted his wife to stay home with the children, instead of going to work and school."

Price said he thought Stephanie would see "the child in need of medical treatment and would quit working in order to take care of the baby," Carlock wrote.

Stephanie Price, who was granted a divorce a year ago, was free on $50,000 bail from March 30, 2000, until entering her no contest plea last month.

In a background report, Stephanie Price said, "I know that I should have known. I don't understand how or why I didn't see the weight loss."

Her attorney, Kevin Adams, said Friday that the boy, now almost 29 months old, has been adopted and is "doing fine."

Bennie Price is an inmate at Conner Correctional Center in Hominy, records show.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"

State v. Tremaine Crawford

Alleged attacker to face four felony counts
BILL BRAUN World Staff Writer

A man who was identified in court and on film as participating in a sexual assault on a 15-year-old Tulsa girl must face trial on four felonies, a judge decided Wednesday.

At a preliminary hearing for only one of five defendants who were charged six weeks ago, Special Judge Clancy Smith found sufficient evi dence to hold Tremaine Eugene Crawford on one count of rape by instrumentation, two counts of attempted rape by instrumentation and one allegation of causing a minor to participate in pornography.

Before the hearing, a prosecutor dismissed the case against William C. Noles Jr., 20.

While evidence shows that Noles was at the residence where the attack occurred, the girl did not identify him as being in the room, and photographs recovered by police did not implicate him in criminal activity, according to Assistant District Attorney Chad Moody.

Crawford, 21, now faces twice as many counts as were initially filed, and he is in the Tulsa Jail in lieu of increased bail totalling $150,000.

Three defendants -- Frederick An thony Wilson, 19, Dominique Latrell Smith, 17, and Corey Edward Thompson, 19 -- have not yet been brought to court to face the charges.

Thompson is in custody in Georgia and awaits extradition proceedings, while Smith and Wilson are at large, Moody said.

The five Tulsans were all charged Aug. 17 with rape by instrumentation and manufacturing child pornography.

An investigation resulted after film containing sexually explicit photographs was left at the Walgreen's drug store at 11332 E. 31st St.

At Wednesday's hearing, a Walgreen's employee said Crawford entered the store to pick up the photos but decided not to purchase them. The employee -- who said she was not present when the film was dropped off -- said Crawford and another male "were laughing" as they viewed the photos.

Defense lawyer Kevin Adams contended that police illegally seized the photographs from the store without a warrant.

But prosecutor Moody said Crawford waived any right to an "expectation of privacy" by taking the film to the store. Judge Smith rejected the defense argument.

The 15-year-old testified that she, Crawford and other people were at Thompson's house in April. She said Crawford asked her if she had a boyfriend and hit her in the face numerous times after she said she liked another boy.

She said later that Smith started pulling at her clothing, although she told him to stop, and that Crawford and others began removing her clothing. Smith sexually penetrated her with his finger while Crawford restrained her, she testified.

Smith pulled out a condom and tried to have sex with her, but that did not occur, the girl said. At one point Crawford, who had a camera, put a cowboy hat on her head and took a picture, she said.

Smith later "got the plunger and he tried to stick it inside of me," but that object did not penetrate her, she testified.

Someone else had a bottle and indicated that he wanted to put it in her, and Crawford was "holding me down" during this activity, she testified.

The girl identified Crawford and some other defendants in the photos. Her testimony indicated that she did not know all the people in the pictures, and they have not been charged.

The girl said she didn't tell her mother what happened because "I knew she would be mad" and that she didn't tell others because "I didn't think the court would do anything because they did not have sex with me."

Investigators learned her identity from a family member after the girl's picture was broadcast on television news reports.

Other pictures left at Walgreen's showed a vehicle with a license tag -- plus street intersection signs and a house address number -- that led investigators to Crawford, a police affidavit said.

"From the Tulsa World, not an endorsement"