McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

January 15, 2013

Plea bargain reached before trial begins

McALESTER — Potential jurors filled the lobby Tuesday morning at the Pittsburg County District Courthouse. They never had a chance to serve as jurors since the defendant in the case reached a plea bargaining agreement with the District 18 District Attorney’s Office prior to the start of the trial.

Michael Dwayne Helem, 53, pleaded guilty to using a vehicle to run over a pedestrian. Helem was charged in May with felony counts of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and leaving the scene of an accident involving personal injury. He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license and failure to keep right.

Helem pleaded guilty to the charges Tuesday morning. He was fined $1,000 and received a 10-year suspended sentence. Helem will also be expected to pay the victim’s medical bills, according to District 18 Assistant District Attorney Wesley Cherry.

According to court records, Helem was driving a 1999 white Ford van in May near the intersection of East Chickasaw Avenue and South 13th Street. While driving, Helem struck pedestrian Nathan Devon Simmons with his van, court records state.

When police arrived on the scene, they found Simmons “on the ground bleeding,” a police affidavit states.

Simmons was transported to the McAlester Regional Health Center by the McAlester Fire Department emergency medical services.

Although Helem was not at the scene of the accident when police arrived, he called 911 from his home to report that someone jumped out in front of his vehicle while he had been driving, according to court records. Helem said someone threw a rock at his vehicle and he was afraid of the person, so he drove home, according to the affidavit.

Helem’s attorney, Jeff Contreras, said that he does not comment on cases. Helem also said he did not want to comment. However, when entering his guilty plea, Helem thanked the district attorney, the judge and his attorney. Just before leaving the courtroom, Helem walked over to a woman who was waiting for him and hugged her tightly. While the pair were hugging, Helem had tears in his eyes and his lawyer patted him on the back.

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.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
NDN Video
Weird 'Wakudoki' Dance Launches Promotional Competition Two women barely avoid being hit by train Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.