First-Degree Murder Charges Filed In Tahlequah Woman's Death - - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

News: Crime

First-Degree Murder Charges Filed In Tahlequah Woman's Death

Posted: Updated:
Aram Barak Catron Aram Barak Catron
TAHLEQUAH, Oklahoma -

Aram Barak Catron of Colcord has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Malinda Jane Phillips. Phillips was killed January 26 when Catron crashed into her vehicle while trying to elude arrest.

Catron was also injured in the crash. He checked himself out of the hospital before the investigation was complete and is now a fugitive from justice, authorities said.

"Aram Catron is currently a fugitive from justice,” said Cherokee County District Attorney Jack Thorp. “If you see him, please call police. His past actions indicate could be dangerous."

Catron was a shoplifting suspect who was spotted by the Cherokee Marshal after a call went over police radio.

"He was reserved until it appeared to him that Catron was a danger to the community,” said Thorpe. “That's when he activated his lights and sirens, and that is when it became a felony eluding case.”

1/29/2018 Related Story: 'Senseless Act' Led To Death Of Bystander, Tahlequah Police Chief Says

Less than a minute later, prosecutors say Catron's vehicle slammed into Malinda Phillips's car. 

Catron crashed into Phillips' vehicle with such force that the engine was knocked into a nearby yard.

"A mom is gone. A wife and sister and friend is gone without any reason behind it,” said Tahlequah Police Chief Nate King.

The DA says he believes this case qualifies for the felony first-degree murder charge instead of a more traditional charge of manslaughter.

"After receiving it all on paper and looking at this exhibit, I felt comfortable in this specific case that the felony murder law would be best applied here,” said Thorp.

As for why they didn't charge him at the time of the wreck, the DA and police chief say they felt it was important to take time and build the strongest case possible against Catron rather than rushing with a lesser charge. 

Anyone who witnessed the crash or was on the road when Catron sped away from police is asked to call Tahlequah Police at 918-456-8801 or the U.S. Marshal's Office in Muskogee at 918-687-2523. 

Catron is known to frequent Delaware County in eastern Oklahoma, Siloam Springs and West Siloam Springs in Arkansas, Chief King said. 

If you know where he is, you're asked to contact law enforcement.

Special Features

Bridge Tracker

How safe are Oklahoma?s bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

Fallen Heroes

The News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.


Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on The News On 6? Find it here!

Murrah Bombing Timeline

Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Featured on

  • Cold Cases

    Join Lori and local homicide detectives as they search for Cold Case clues.

  • Crime Survival Guide

    What can you do to survive a crime? Find advice for personal safety here.

  • Links

    Looking for a website you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

Powered by Frankly
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111 is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.