McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

March 19, 2012

Jury finds Eufaula woman competent for murder trial

McALESTER — A Pittsburg County jury found a Eufaula woman competent to stand trial for a first degree murder charge.

On Friday, Felicia Melton, 27, faced a jury on the issue of her competency to undergo further criminal proceedings in her 2010 first degree murder case. Melton is accused of engaging in child abuse which resulted in the death of her infant son, Steven Melton.

According to court records, Felicia Melton allegedly injured her three-month-old son May 19, 2010, with “blunt force trauma to the head causing multiple skull fractures” and ultimately, causing his death.

When Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Agent John Jones investigated the infant boy’s death, he interviewed Felicia Melton, court documents indicate.

According to Jones’ affidavit, Melton allegedly told him that she found her son unresponsive in his crib on May 19, 2010. Melton told the agent that she had left her infant son in his crib with a bottle, and when she came back into the room, “she saw him jerking around in his crib. ... Felicia saw Steven hit his head on the plastic ‘wipey’ box that was in his crib.”

“Felicia denied harming Steven,” Jones’ report continues, “however she told me that when she found Steven unresponsive ... she ‘shook’ him once, not very hard. When she shook Steven, he ‘may have’ hit his head on the bathroom sink.”

After speaking with the medical examiner, Jones’ was told that the infant’s injuries “were not consistent with incidental trauma” and that the child’s manner of death was ruled as homicide.

Felicia Melton has been in custody at the Pittsburg County Jail since May 21, 2010. She is being held in lieu of a $500,000 bond and was unavailable for comment at presstime today.

If convicted of first degree murder, Melton is facing the death penalty, life imprisonment or life without the possibility of parole.

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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