The Pryor Times

Crimes and courts

September 13, 2013

Violent offenders have a registry

A former Chouteau man is facing a new felony charge after he failed to notify law enforcement he was moving away from the area.

Michael W. Allen, 24, is required to register as a violent offender with the appropriate law enforcement agency.

According to Assistant Police Chief Michael Reese, the registry is separate from, but very similar to, the sex offender registry.

“They have to register their location with law enforcement,” Reese said. “And when they move, they have to notify both the law enforcement agency in the location where they intend to relocate as well as notify their current law enforcement agency of their intent to leave the area.”

In Allen’s case, he registered with Chouteau Police Department when he moved to the area, but failed to notify them of his intent to relocate to Texas.

That failure prompted the charges against Allen, which could result in a revoke of previously suspended sentences. That could mean jail time for Allen.

Allen was convicted of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in 2010, in Wagoner County. The original charge was shooting with intent to kill.

In the same year, Allen racked up several more convictions for distribution of a controlled substance, possession of a firearm while in the commission of a felony and a separate assault and battery with a deadly weapon.

The violent offender registry has been in existence since 2004 and is the result of legislation known as the Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act.

It was named for an elderly woman in Wewoka who was found murdered in 2003. Her neighbor was eventually convicted of the crime. No one in the area knew of his violent past or criminal record.

The law requires “anyone who is convicted or receives a deferred or suspended sentence for a violent crime ... to register with the Department of Correc-tions and the local law enforcement agency.”

“Violent crime” includes convictions of murder, manslaughter, shooting with intent to kill, assault with intent to kill, assault, battery and bombing.

In 2011, Oklahoma Senator Constance Johnson introducted Senate Bill 502 which would add domestic violence abusers to the registry.

The bill has stalled in the Senate Appropria-tions Committee since that time.

The violent offender registry is maintained by the Oklahoma Depart-ment of Corrections.

According to Reese, when D.O.C. did a routine verification check on Allen, it was discovered that he had left the area.

Allen is being charged with Violation of Mary Rippy Violent Crime Registration Act, a felony. His previous convictions carried up to 15 years in prison, all suspended. If those suspensions are revoked, Allen could serve prison time for his previous convictions.


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Crimes and courts