McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Police/Courts

January 17, 2009

Pittsburg County Court Report

The following felony cases were decided in Pittsburg County District Court Jan. 8 through Jan. 14. Dispositions include dismissed cases, suspended and deferred sentences, and sentences from trials and plea bargains.

• James Smallwood, 58, of Savanna, pleaded no contest Jan. 9 to possession of a controlled substance, marijuana, and was given a five-year suspended sentence. He was also fined $1,000 on the charge, filed with a enhancement for a former conviction of selling dangerous drugs in 1977. He was given a three-year suspended sentence in the 1977 case out of Oklahoma County.

• Cameron Wayne Epperson, 28, of McAlester, pleaded no contest Jan. 9 to assault and battery upon a police officer and misdemeanor resisting an officer. He was sentenced to two years in prison with another three suspended and was fined $350 on the two charges. He was convicted of hitting McAlester police officer Sterling Taylor on his face and body during a May 2 traffic stop.

• Gary W. Allen, 37, of Pittsburg, pleaded guilty Jan. 9 to driving under the influence of alcohol and three misdemeanors: driving without a valid driver's license, transporting an open bottle or container of liquor and driving a defective vehicle. He was charged with a prior conviction enhancement for a 1999 Bryan County conviction for drunk driving which had resulted in a one-year suspended sentence. Allen was sentenced to complete the Keys to Life corrections program, or an equivalent, with the remainder of a five-year sentence suspended. He was also ordered to complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow all recommendations. He was also fined $750 in the case.

• Melissa Sue Rogers, 27, of rural McAlester, pleaded guilty Jan. 9 to possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. She was charged with a prior conviction enhancement for a 2007 charge of conspiracy to deliver/manufacture/possession a controlled substance and unlawful use of a communication facility for which judgment and sentencing were deferred for three years. She was given a 15-year suspended sentence in the Jan. 9 plea bargain.

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