DHS Worker Who Committed Suicide Cleared In Serenity Deal Case


Tuesday, November 13th 2012, 5:25 pm
By: News 9


A DHS worker who committed suicide last year has been cleared of any wrongdoing in 5-year-old Serenity Deal's death.

Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smothermon says Donald Wheeler and his supervisor, Wes Priest, are not to blame for the beating death of Serenity Deal.

7/13/2011 Related Story: Chandler DHS Child Welfare Worker Commits Suicide, Police Continue To Investigate

Deal was killed by her father, Sean Brooks, less than a month after the state removed her from foster care and put her in Brooks' care. Brooks has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

Prosecutors say Wheeler repeatedly warned against putting Serenity with her father, but was ignored.

Two other DHS workers, Jennifer Shawn and Randy Lack, were both charged last week with a misdemeanor of suppressing evidence. Both have pleaded no contest to the charges against them.

11/10/2012 Related Story: Two Former DHS Workers Plead No Contest In Serenity Deal Case