Statewide Manhunt For Seminole Man Ends

Wednesday, June 22nd 2011, 6:42 pm
By: News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- A Seminole man surrendered to police Wednesday after authorities launched a statewide manhunt for him.

Charles Kiplinger, 41, is accused of killing a man after getting into an argument with him. Police say 58-year-old Bill Croft collapsed and died Tuesday in his Cromwell home after the fight.

Shasta Vaught, a longtime Cromwell resident, was good friends with Croft.  She claims the fight had been brewing for some time, and that Kiplinger had been harassing Croft for weeks.

"It's been progressing over three weeks," said Vaught.  "This guy won't stay away.  He just keeps coming back." 

A Seminole County probable cause affidavit states that Kiplinger went to the store where Vaught worked and began making threats toward Croft.  He then went to Croft's home and confronted him.  The two men fought briefly, Kiplinger left in his vehicle, and Croft staggered back to his home and died a short time later. 

Kiplinger turned himself in Wednesday morning at the Cleveland County jail, and was later taken back to Seminole County.

"We charged him with first-degree murder," said Seminole County Under sheriff Todd Hignite.  "It's gonna be up to the district attorney's office if they want to put down to a lesser charge." 

The fight, or at least part of it, was also captured on video by a friend of Vaught's who happened to come by during the fight.  That footage has been turned over to the Seminole County Sheriff's Office.  According to Hignite, the video seems to corroborate witness accounts.

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office is performing an autopsy on Croft to determine how he died.

Kiplinger will be arraigned in Seminole County on Thursday.