The Pryor Times

Crimes and courts

June 11, 2013

Last arrest made in drug-related shooting

The final arrest was made surrounding a drug-related shooting that left one man dead in the Days Inn motel in Pryor.

Carl Don Thomas, Pryor, is charged with a felony count of possession of a controlled drug, methamphetamine, with intent to distribute.

His initial court appearance was June 10, at which time Judge Rebecca Gore informed him of his rights. She told Thomas that as this felony came after prior felony convictions, possession of a controlled drug with the intent to distribute can carry no less than 20-years and up to a life sentence. Upon the state's recommendation, his bond was set at $75,000 and his case was continued until July 11. He will remain in the custody of the Mayes County Jail until bond is posted.

A probable cause affidavit describes the incident on Jan. 29. Officer Brett Mull of the Mayes County Sheriff's Office observed a Buick turn from Highway 69 into Days Inn without a brake light. The vehicle, occupied and driven by Thomas and co-defendant Robert Rowbotham, was pulled over for a traffic stop by Mull. When the car stopped, Mull noticed a large amount of movement from the front passenger seat where an individual appeared to be leaning forward and reaching toward the floor.

Mull approached the vehicle and made contact with the two men, recognizing Rowbotham who has prior felony drug convictions. Mull noticed that Thomas appeared to be experiencing some stress and anxiety and described “beads of sweat on his forehead and face accompanied by heavy breathing, facial muscles twitching, and stomach quivering.” Thomas said he had picked Rowbotham up in Chouteau and was dropping him off to meet a friend at Days Inn motel.

In a search of the vehicle, Mull found a purple Crown Royal bag under the front seat which contained a plastic baggie of five smaller baggies with a white powdery substance. A field test confirmed it was methamphetamine.

The officers, following the tip, located the room and were again alerted to the presence of narcotics by the k-9 unit. Two individuals, Will Perneau and a woman , were inside the motel room.

Perneau resisted the officers and was placed in handcuffs. The officers began frisking Perneau and the woman began to resist, causing a diversion which allowed Perneau an opportunity to retrieve a gun from his waistband and begin shooting. Perneau fired several shots inside the room before being fatally shot by one of the officers.

Thomas and Rowbotham were taken into custody, but could not be held until the formal charges were filed. Later, a warrant was issued for their arrest and on April 15 Rowbotham was arrested.

Thomas has a prior record in Mayes County that includes several drug-related charges.

In 2005, he was charged with possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute, possession of marijuana and possession of paraphernalia. In 2008, he was charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute and possession of paraphernalia. He was sentenced to serve 10 years in the Department of Corrections, all of which would be suspended. He was charged with another count of possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute in 2011, as well as attempting to purchase pseudoephedrine after reaching the legal limit.


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Crimes and courts