McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

January 14, 2013

Man accused of using vehicle to run over pedestrian to go to trial

By Rachel Petersen
Staff Writer

McALESTER — A McAlester man who is accused of using a vehicle to run over a pedestrian is set to go to trail Jan. 15 at the Pittsburg County District Court.

Michael Dwayne Helem, 53, was charged in May in 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’s trial is expected to last two days and District 18 Judge Thomas Bartheld is presiding over court proceedings.

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 allegedly struck pedestrian Nathan Devon Simmons with his van “with the intent to do Nathan Devon Simmons bodily harm,” 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 allegedly called 911 from his home to report that someone jumped out in front of his vehicle while he had been driving and was afraid of the person, so drove home, according to the affidavit. He also allegedly told police that someone threw a rock at his vehicle.

If convicted, he is facing up to 10 years imprisonment on each of the felony counts.

Helem’s attorney, Jeff Contreras, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.



Contact Rachel Petersen at rpetersen@mcalesternews.com.

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