McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

December 29, 2012

Wagoner man pleads to child neglect, possession of cocaine

McALESTER — A Wagoner man recently pleaded guilty to charges of child abuse by neglect and possession of cocaine.

Chester E. Burkholder, 43, was charged in February in Pittsburg County District Court with possession of a controlled dangerous substance (cocaine), child abuse by neglect, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to maintain security.

On Oct. 31, he entered a blind guilty plea and on Nov. 28 sentencing was deferred for seven years. He was also fined $400.

According to court records, Burkholder “willfully/maliciously neglected (the child) by exposing said child to (a) controlled dangerous substance.”

Kiowa Chief of Police Tony Runyon said that his K-9 sergeant was on duty Tuesday and completed a traffic stop on Burkholder’s vehicle. “He discovered narcotics,” Runyon said. “There was also a child taken into custody by DHS that was in the vehicle.”

Runyon said that officers found cocaine in Burkholder’s vehicle and then, when he was being booked into the Pittsburg County jail, officers found more narcotics hidden in Burkholder’s underwear.

Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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