The Pryor Times

Crimes and courts

May 3, 2013

Court notes

Week of 4/30/13

Richard Anthony Morton, Locust Grove, appeared on the Mayes County District Court initial appearance docket Tuesday, April 30.  Morton was charged with assault and battery and public intoxication. Morton, after struggling to decide, entered a plea of guilty. Assistant District Attorney Nick Codding intervened at that time.

“This is a unique case. There is more than meets the eye,” said Codding.

On behalf of the state Codding said he would suggest the maximum  limit of 90 days in the county jail should the defendant plead guilty. At that time Morton changed his plea to not guilty and his cased was continued until June 14. His bond was set at $2,500 with a special condition stipulating that he have no contact with the alleged victim. He will be remanded to the custody of the Mayes County Jail until bond is posted.

Robert Payne, Salina, appeared before Judge Terry McBride for sentencing Tuesday, April 30. Payne was charged with child sexual abuse in November 2011. He posted his $50,000 bond and was released that same month. At that time he was ordered to have no contact with the victim and not to be in the presence of any minor children. Court records stipulate that the defendant is allowed to telephone his own children. After several continuances the defendant appeared at his preliminary hearing in October 2012 at which time witnesses were sworn in to provide testimony. In March he appeared for the felony jury sounding docket and waived his right to a jury trial. His case was set for disposition April 30. He has remained free on original bond.

On April 30, Judge McBride granted a continuance until June 4.

Michael Baker, Afton, was found competent  by McBride to enter his plea of guilty. In explanation of his guilt Baker said, “I was ignorant I guess.”

“Ignorance is not a crime, though I encounter it a lot in here,” said McBride. “Were you in possession of methamphetamine?”

Baker said yes, he was. He acknowledged reading, signing and understanding the plea of guilty summary of facts. He also acknowledged receipt of the rules of a district attorney-supervised probation.

James Johnston, Pryor, appeared for sentencing on charges of domestic assault and battery by strangulation and public intoxication.

“I got in an argument with my girlfriend and it escalated from there,” said Johnston in explanation of his guilt.

McBride asked if he choked his girlfriend, and he answered yes. The court found him guilty but will withhold sentencing. He was ordered to district attorney-supervised probation.

Johnston has a prior misdemeanor charge of assault and battery from 2004.


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Crimes and courts