The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on August 27, 2005 · 13
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The Daily Oklahoman from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma · 13

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Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
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Saturday, August 27, 2005
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13
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Local & State NEWS0K.COM MWJ:f CLAREMORE Shooting charges are filed A Rogers County man was charged Friday in connection with a domestic shooting where a bullet narrowly missed a child, court officials said. Casey James Anderson, 19, of Claremore was charged in Rogers County District Court in Clare-more with two felonies: shooting with intent to kill and child abuse-neglect. Anderson is accused of shooting at Abigail M. Strickland on Aug. 17 with a .38-caliber revolver, according to an information sheet filed with the charges by Assistant District Attorney Ray Hasselman. Anderson confessed that he fired a bullet while Strickland was getting into the driver's seat of her car, according to a probable cause affidavit. The bullet traveled through the windshield, struck the dashboard, deflected and went through the passenger side seat, narrowly missing a 1-year-old child. Anderson remains in Rogers County jail. SHAWNEE Flames engulf air filter plant For more than two hours late Friday, police and fire officials battled a blaze that was fully engulfing a manufacturing plant that produces air filters. Shawnee police Lt. Roy Gribble said they had no reports of injuries at the Leeder Inc. plant at 8001 N Harrison. Gribble said rescuers arrived to find the interior of the plant filled with smoke and flames. "All we are doing now is trying to contain it," Gribble said about 11 p.m. Friday. "A lot of smoke is coming out." Officials said the call came in about 8:20 p.m. Leedar Inc. manufactures air filters which were helping feed the flames, Gribble said. DURANT Trial is ordered in sexual abuse A Bryan County man was ordered Friday to stand trial in connection with the sexual abuse of a 7-year-old girl, authorities said. Robert Claude McCor-mick, 61, was charged in February 2002 with child sexual abuse. McCormick fled Bryan County in March 2002 after charges were filed, court records show. He was apprehended in Texas in March. McCormick is scheduled to return to court Oct. 4. PAWHUSKA Hearing set in homicide A Hominy man accused of killing a waitress was given an Oct. 19 preliminary hearing, an assistant district attorney said Friday. Roy Westbrook, 63, is charged with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Rebecca Clements, 26, also of Hominy. Westbrook is accused of shooting Clements once in the mouth and twice in the upper body, according to a police affidavit. From Staff and Wire Reports SATURDAY, AUGUST 27, 2005 Deal keeps ex-officer out of jail Ki Mitchell Harrington Sentence deferred 5 years on lone child abuse charge By Ty McMahan, Staff Writer Oklahoma County prosecutors have arranged a plea agreement that allows a former police officer accused of raping two children to avoid a jail sentence. Ki Mitchell Harrington, 34, pleaded guilty this week to one count of child abuse, while 13 felony counts were dismissed. Harring ton will serve a five-year deferred sentence. The charges against Harrington included seven counts of first-degree rape, two counts of sexual abuse of a child and five counts of child abuse. Prosecutors said there is insufficient evidence to prove Harrington committed any of the crimes alleged in the dropped charges. The Oklahoma County district attorney's office issued a written statement Friday to The Oklahoman about Harrington's case: "After lengthy investigation and interviews with the victims we were able to ascertain that the level of crime thought to be committed was not as egregious as originally thought. While we acknowledge a level of criminal activity was committed the difficulty was in proving it without sacrificing the victims." An investigation into Harrington began Nov. 24, 2003, when the children's mother contacted police. The children, a brother and sister, testified in a preliminary hearing in July 2003 that they were beaten with a belt containing multiple buckles or studs. "I'm satisfied that these children will never be around him again and he'll never be a law enforcement officer again," Assist- See PLEA, back page Getting closer to nature BY DAVID MCDANIEL, THE OKLAHOMAN Beth Gollob shoots a .470-caliber shotgun Friday while state Wildlife Conservation Department supervisor Craig Endicott launches skeet during a media preview day at the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo. Expo restores reporter's fondness for the outdoors By Beth Gollob, Staff Writer GUTHRIE I rediscovered a childhood love Friday morning. When fairly young, I often went fishing with my brothers and grandparents at country farm ponds in Stephens County. It was fun watching the bobber peek under the water, signaling a crappie, perch or bass had taken the bait. As I grew a little older, I gave up fishing. Maybe I thought it was boring. Perhaps I saw it as uncool. For whatever reason, it likely was related to being a surly teenager. During a preview day Friday for the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo, I realized how relaxing and fun fishing can be. Sure, it's a little disgusting to thread the worm on the hook, but I got over it soon enough when I started reeling in perch and channel catfish. Today and Sunday anyone can try fishing, archery, shooting or other activities for free during the first Oklahoma Wildlife Expo at the Lazy E Arena southeast of Guthrie. More than 10,000 people are expected to attend the event, which will feature demonstrations, seminars and hands-on displays for a variety of outdoor activities. Wildlife officials began planning the first ever Oklahoma Wildlife Expo about a year ago to encourage Ok-lahomans to get more involved with outdoor recreation, said Greg Duffy, director of the state Wildlife Conservation Department. BY DAVID MCDANIEL, THE OKLAHOMAN Beth Gollob holds up a tiny sunfish Friday during a media preview day at the Oklahoma Wildlife Expo. The free outdoor extravaganza will offer hands-on activities, seminars and demonstrations today and Sunday at the Lazy E Arena, southeast of Guthrie. "It's not just hunting and fishing," he said. "There's rock climbing, camping and all sorts of other things available in the outdoors. "It's also to introduce people to hunting and fishing who may have wanted to try it but didn't have the opportunity." See EXPO, back page Lawsuit links Stipe, company A former business partner is alleging illegal actions. By Tony Thornton, Staff Writer McALESTER A lawsuit filed Friday accuses former state Sen. Gene Stipe of running title insurance companies despite two felony campaign fraud convictions. Stipe's continued operation of the companies is prohibited under federal law and punishable by up to five years in prison, Stipe's business partner claimed. Steve Phipps' allegations are part of a countersuit he filed in response to an earlier lawsuit by Stipe. Stipe sued Phipps last month in Pittsburg County District Court and sought to dissolve their partnership. Stipe seeks repayment of a $750,000 loan and also includes claims for damages. Court documents don't identify the abstracting and title insurance companies the men own. According to Phipps' counterclaim, Stipe has been an attorney for more than 50 years and should have known that anyone convicted of a felony crime involving dishonesty cannot own or operate an insurance business. Instead, Stipe represented that his management was legal, the lawsuit states. Stipe's attorney, John Carwile of Tulsa, said he hadn't seen the counter-suit and had no comment. Longest-serving lawmaker Stipe was the longest-serving lawmaker in Oklahoma history when he resigned his state Senate seat in February 2003. He subsequently pleaded guilty in Washington to two federal felony charges and a misdemeanor. The charges involved his schemes to funnel money illegally into protege Walt Roberts' 1998 congressional race and then cover up the financing. Stipe paid a fine of $735,567. He was ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service and received six months home detention and five years of probation. See STIPE, Page 18A Mankiller relates breast cancer struggle The former Cherokee Nation chief spoke about the importance of early detection. By Susan Simpson, Staff Writer Wilma Mankiller, former Cherokee Nation chief and cancer survivor, said more must be done to spread awareness about the life-saving importance of early screening for breast cancer. "There's still too many people that aren't diagnosed until they have late-stage illness," she said. "We have to do something about that." Mankiller spoke Friday at the Oklahoma Breast Health Cancer Summit at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum. Health care providers, cancer survivors and policy makers met to discuss the future of breast cancer treatment in Oklahoma and strategies for fighting the disease. Mankiller was diagnosed with lymphoma in 1996 and breast cancer in 1998. She said she has survived because of positive thinking, prayer and excellent medical care, including participating in clinical trials. "I'm alive today because a lot of people prayed for me. A lot of people supported me and a lot of people helped me," said Mankiller. She said she struggled to stay optimistic when first diagnosed with lymphoma. "It was like an earthquake," she said. "Every part of my life shifted and changed. I was no longer a person who helped but a person who needed help." Mankiller said she learned to treasure small moments like sitting in the garden or playing music. "I will always be positive and walking toward the future, even if I have to use a walker," she said, prompting laughter from the audience. See SUMMIT, back page BY JIM BECKEL. THE OKLAHOMAN Wilma Mankiller, former Cherokee Nation principal chief, is presented an honorary blanket Friday from Ruby Withrow, a member of the Citizen Band Pota-watomi tribe. Mankiller spoke at the Oklahoma Breast Health Cancer Summit. Inside picks Man jailed in connection with rapes A northwest Oklahoma City man was arrested Thursday night in connection with two reported rapes within an hour of each other Wednesday. Page 14A Casino payments below expectations Tribal casinos paid the state $1 million for games played in July, the state finance office reported Friday. While that figure was 43 percent more than payments the previous month, it was still far below expectations. page 15A Index Deaths Page 17A Records Page 17A Weather Pagel8A

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