McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

March 23, 2013

Stigler man pleads guilt after failing to show up for his trial

McALESTER — A Stigler man pleaded guilty to a felony charge of grand theft recently after he failed to show up for his jury trial  on the charge in December.

The jurors were ready to go through the selection process on the day of the scheduled trial. And the judge was waiting to preside over the trial. The District 18 District Attorney’s office was ready to prosecute and the defendant’s attorney was ready to defend his client.

But the defendant didn’t show up.

Bart Laine Guthrie, 35, appeared in court Nov. 30, when the trial date was set. But when it came time to appear for the trail — he was a no show. Associate District Judge James Bland issued a no bond bench warrant for Guthrie arrest. He was later arrested and on March 13, he pleaded guilty tot he felony count.

Guthrie is set for official sentencing April 4 at 11 a.m.

Guthrie was first charged in October 2011 alongside two co-defendants. He was facing felony charges of possession of a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine) and grand larceny. In early December, the district attorney’s office dropped the drug charge.

Guthrie’s co-defendants in the case, Adam Dale Hollis, 29, and Daniel Ethan Pitchford, 21, both of Hartshorne, pleaded guilty Dec. 14, 2011. Hollis was sentenced to serve five years in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections followed by five years probation. Judgment and sentencing were deferred for five years for Pitchford.

Court records indicate that the three men conspired together on Oct. 28, 2011, and stole “a black trailer, approximately 10 feet by 5 feet ... that belonged to the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office.”

According to an affidavit, PCSO officials were informed that a trailer had been moved from its location “behind a locked gate ... at a field located on Shuman Road.”

Deputy Brad Wilson and Deputy Nick Mattioda were dispatched to the area of the missing PCSO property and “conducted a felony traffic stop on the vehicle” towing the trailer.

According to the affidavit, Hollis, the driver; Guthrie, the front seat passenger, and Pitchford, the back seat passenger, were all taken into custody at the time.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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