McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 11, 2013

McAlester man pleads guilty in drug house case

By Rachel Petersen
Staff Writer

McALESTER — A McAlester man recently pleaded guilty in a case involving a drug house in McAlester.

Thomas Blair Getchell, 35, pleaded no contest Tuesday (Jan. 8 ) in Pittsburg County District Court to one felony count of unlawful possession of a controlled drug (marijuana) with intent to distribute. He was fined $700 and sentenced to 15 years, with all but the first 21 days suspended.

Felony charges of possession of a firearm after conviction or during probation and maintaining a place for keeping /selling controlled substances were dismissed. Also dismissed was a misdemeanor count of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Getchell was charged in Feb. 3, 2012, along with co-defendant Julie Ann Ketcherside, 38, of McAlester. Ketcherside pleaded guilty Sept. 28 in Pittsburg County District Court to one count of unlawful possession of a controlled drug (marijuana) with intent to distribute.

She was fined $2,700 and judgment and sentencing were deferred for five years. The same charges dismissed for Getchell were also dismissed for Ketcherside.

The charge dismissals and sentences were pursuant to a plea bargaining agreement between Getchell and Ketcherside and the District 18 District Attorney’s office.

According to court records, authorities from the McAlester Police Department and the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant Feb. 2 at a home on West Seneca Avenue in McAlester.

While searching the residence, police found numerous items associated with the distribution of marijuana, according to a police affidavit.

In seeking comment, a working phone number could not be located for Ketcherside or Getchell.

Contact Rachel Petersen at

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