McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 16, 2013


Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — Okla. House panel bans synthetic pot, bath salts

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A House committee has approved a bill to outlaw various kinds of new synthetic drugs, including so-called “bath salts” and artificial marijuana.

The House Public Safety Committee on Wednesday approved a bill that was requested by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.

OBNDD spokesman Mark Woodward says the bill adds 21 new chemical compounds to the list of more than 200 illegal chemicals in Oklahoma.

Woodward says drug agents are “playing a game of cat chasing mouse” with chemists who create new synthetic drugs that aren’t technically illegal, prompting the addition of new compounds on the state registry every year.

Woodward says the synthetic drugs are frequently sold at gas stations or convenience stores under names like “Blue Majestic,” “Spice,” and “Kryptonite.”

Evaluation sought for man accused in bomb plot

TULSA (AP) — The attorney for an Illinois man accused in a failed plot to firebomb dozens of northeast Oklahoma churches wants a federal judge to order a mental evaluation of his client before going to trial.

The request filed in Tulsa federal court this week suggests 24-year-old Gregory Arthur Weiler II of Elk Grove Village, Ill., has been hospitalized numerous times over the past five years for various mental health issues.

The request comes a week after Weiler was transferred from state custody in Miami, Okla., to federal custody in the northern district of Oklahoma because of the nature of his alleged crimes.

A previous evaluation ordered while Weiler was in state custody found him mentally fit to stand trial.

The petition states that federal prosecutors don’t object to the second test.

Civil lawsuits filed

over Glencoe wildfire

STILLWATER (AP) — More than 60 civil lawsuits have been filed against a pipeline company over damages from a summer wildfire at Glencoe.

The latest to join the court action over the Aug. 4 blaze is Hesser Holdings LLC, which says in court papers that the fire started due to work by Global Pipeline Construction, which was welding at the time.

Hesser Holdings lost 240 acres of land that it had planned to auction.

The Stillwater News-Press reports the fire destroyed 2,000 acres and 17 homes in Glencoe.

The suit is to be heard on Feb. 21.

2 Muskogee jail guards face civil rights counts

MUSKOGEE (AP) — A federal grand jury has handed up indictments against two former jail supervisors in Muskogee, who are accused of using excessive force.

The Justice Department said Wednesday that 42-year-old Raymond A. Barnes, a former Muskogee County Jail superintendent and 31-year-old Christopher A. Brown, a former assistant superintendent, are accused of repeatedly striking and punishing inmates from August 2009 through May 2011.

Prosecutors say Barnes and Brown conspired to violate the civil rights of inmates by unjustifiably harming detainees who were restrained and not posing a threat. They also allegedly punished new inmates from neighboring county jails by slamming them to the ground while handcuffed when they arrived.

Another guard, 32-year-old Donald Frisbie Jr. is charged with making a false statement to the FBI during the investigation.

Fallin appoints OKC attorney as secretary of state

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Gov. Mary Fallin has appointed a longtime Oklahoma City attorney to be the next secretary of state.

Fallin announced the appointment of Larry V. Parman to the post on Thursday. He will begin serving March 1 and still must be confirmed by the full Senate.

Parman replaces Michelle Day, who has been acting as interim secretary of state since former state Sen. Glenn Coffee stepped down from the post on Feb. 1.

Fallin says Parman will serve as a senior advisor on policy, economic and legislative issues.

Parman has served since 1984 as chief executive officer of Parman & Easterday, an Oklahoma City-based estate planning and elder law firm.

A former captain in the Army, Parman received his bachelor’s and law degrees from the University of Missouri.