McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

July 11, 2014

Cases counted

With the second half of 2014 now under way, the combined number of felony, misdemeanor and traffic cases filed in Pittsburg County District Court is morethan 2,800 numbered cases.

That was with cases filed through Thursday, July 3. An analysis made by comparing numbers for this year to last help show some trends in this year’s filings.

Through Thursday there had been 466 numbered felony cases filed so far in calendar year 2014, which puts this year ahead of the same point in 2013, and on pace to exceed last year’s total number of felony cases filed.

It wasn’t until July 22 last year before the 466 number was reached in felony filings. Further, the number so far this year is well over half of the 776 mark that was the total of numbered felony cases filed in Pittsburg County in 2013.

A felony case description occasionally has more than one suspect filed under the same number.

The first will have a felony case number assigned, but then a letter of the alphabet will be used for a second and subsequent suspect charged in relation to the same alleged criminal activity.

To make up an example, if three people were charged with second degree burglary for alleging breaking into an unoccupied house, the first suspect might have a case number assigned of 978, and the second and third suspects charged could be labeled 978A and 978B.

The pace of misdemeanor cases filed so far this year is about the same as last year. As of Thursday, there had been 498 misdemeanor cases filed this year. That number was reached July 1, 2013.

Overall in 2013, there were 1,113 misdemeanor cases filed in district court.

Pittsburg County Court Clerk Cindy Smith also pointed out how many felony cases also have one or more misdemeanor crimes that are also charged in the same filing, but the case is listed as a felony case.

On the other hand, the number of traffic cases filed in the county so far in 2014 is well under the ones filed through July 3, 2013.

That 2014 number through Thursday in Pittsburg County was 1,874 traffic cases. Last year, that 1,874 number had been reached more than two months earlier on April 29, 2013, which ended with a total of 4,495 traffic cases filed in Pittsburg County District Court.

Pittsburg County is a busy county for criminal cases. One can compare Pittsburg County’s 2014 number thus far with a neighboring county, such as McIntosh County.

Also through Thursday, there had been 152 numbered felony cases, 249 misdemeanor cases and 6,563 traffic cases.

There are some extra factors to consider when comparing McIntosh to Pittsburg county filings.

For one thing, Pittsburg County has a little more than twice the population of McIntosh County. Another element to remember is that in the Oklahoma State Penitentiary and Jackie Brannon Correctional Center, Pittsburg County has two Department of Corrections penal institutions to none for McIntosh County.

Crimes committed at JBCC and OSP generally are filed in Pittsburg County and assigned Pittsburg County case numbers. This results in additional numbers of cases in Pittsburg County.

John Yates is the news director at McAlester Radio. Contact him at

valstarr_hawkwind@

yahoo.com.

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