CHILD ABUSE ALLEGATIONS-KENYA
Man charged in Oklahoma with child abuse in Kenya
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma man has been charged with sexually abusing boys and girls while volunteering at an organization in Kenya that assists neglected children.
Matthew Lane Durham, of Edmond, is accused of engaging in sex acts with children aged from 4 to 10 years while volunteering at Upendo Children's Home in Nairobi from April to June 2014.
The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of Western Oklahoma last Thursday says the 19-year-old Durham has volunteered with Upendo since June 2012.
Court records show Durham wrote a confession that an Upendo official provided to the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
Upendo's founders have not responded to a phone call and email seeking comment.
Durham's lawyer told The Oklahoman that the complaint is inaccurate and his client is the victim.
Man ordered to stand trial in shooting death
LAWTON, Okla. (AP) - A Lawton man accused of a fatal shooting outside a bar has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of second-degree murder.
The Lawton Constitution reports that Special District Judge Ken Harris ruled Monday there was enough evidence for Bryan Dutton to stand trial on the murder count.
Dutton is accused of shooting 35-year-old Sam Ruffin three times outside the Dew Drop Inn on April 19.
Ruffin's partner, Corlette Tahhahwah, told the judge the two had been drinking at the club when she decided to leave. She says the two went into the parking lot and got into an argument with Dutton.
Court records show Dutton has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
TEA PARTY LEADER-CHARGES
Sentencing delayed for Oklahoma tea party leader
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Formal sentencing for the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party on felony blackmail and computer crimes convictions has been delayed.
Al Gerhart was set to be sentenced Tuesday by Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott, but the sentencing date was delayed until Aug. 19.
Gerhart was convicted in May after sending a politically charged email to a state senator who testified he felt threatened by the email's tone.
The March 2013 email warned state Sen. Cliff Branan that if he didn't take up a bill favored by Gerhart's political group, that Gerhart would "make sure you regret not doing it."
Gerhart could have faced up to five years in prison for each of the two counts, but the jury that convicted him recommended he not serve any prison time.
COLD CASE REOPENED
Cold case reopened in Rogers County
TIAWAH, Okla. (AP) - The Rogers County Sheriff's Office has reopened a case involving a woman who disappeared nearly two decades ago.
The Claremore Daily Progress reports that Tiawah-area resident Dione Fox was declared missing when she failed to attend a scheduled court appearance in 1996. Authorities in Noel, Missouri, discovered Fox's abandoned car eight months after she went missing. Fox was 23 when she went missing.
Jerry Smittle with the Rogers County Sheriff's Office says investigators are searching for Fox's remains in the Tiawah area.
Investigators with the sheriff's office, Wagoner County Emergency Management, the state medical examiner's office and the University of Oklahoma Archaeological Survey are searching the 20-acre property where Fox was last seen.
A search warrant has been issued for the property.
Juvenile justice system topic of upcoming lecture
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The Oklahoma Department of Human Services is opening up its fall lecture series next month with a discussion about mental health and the justice system.
"The Offender with Mental Disabilities: Critical Issues in Correctional Mental Health and Planning for Successful Re-Entry" will be presented Aug. 26 at the Oklahoma History Center.
The discussion will focus on strategies for successful re-entry planning.
The lecture is free and open to the public.
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