McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

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May 2, 2013

McAlester man pleads guilty to attempted extortion charge

McALESTER — The second of two McAlester men charged in an extortion case recently pleaded guilty and was sentenced.

Deane Eugene Jones, 19, pleaded guilty April 29 in Pittsburg County District Court to one felony count of attempted extortion by threat. Jones was fined $250 and received a seven-year sentence, with all but the first 76 days suspended.

Jones was charged in April 2012 along with co-defendant Michael David Todd, 21, with three felony counts:

• Conspiracy to commit extortion and first degree burglary,

• Attempted extortion by threat, and

• First degree burglary.

As part of a plea bargain agreement between Jones and the District 18 District Attorney’s Office, the first and third counts were dismissed.

On June 11, Todd also pleaded guilty to just the attempted extortion charge and the other two felony counts were dismissed. Todd was fined $550 and received a five-years sentence, with all but the first 70 days suspended.

According to court records, Todd, Jones and a 14-year-old juvenile allegedly broke into the Redbud Lane home of Bob Harris on April 3.

The three alleged burglars threatened Harris by telling him that “if he did not give Michael Todd money, he would falsely accuse Bob Harris of a crime,” court records state.

In seeking comment, phone messages left for Jones and his attorney, Joe Layden, were not immediately returned by presstime.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

For more on this story, see the print or electronic editions of the McAlester News-Capital. Click here for print edition home delivery or click here to see the Smart Edition for your computer, tablet, e-reader or smart phone.

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