A Krebs man pleaded guilty Thursday to being an accessory after the fact in concealing the July death of a local man.
Matthew Vermillion, 40, accepted a 15-year sentence in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections with all but the first five years suspended — meaning that he is to serve five years in prison after pleading guilty to the charge of accessory after the fact in the concealment of murder in the first-degree.
Vermillion was originally charged in August with murder in the first degree along with Jimmy Nace, 46, of Haileyville in the death of 49-year-old Haileyville resident Bobby Joe Dalpoas Jr.
A third individual — identified by the U.S. Army as Pfc. Tyler Morgan, 21, of Haileyville — is being prosecuted by the Army for his connection to the death of Dalpoas, according to the District 18 District Attorney’s Office.
Vermillion made his plea in front of Dalpoas’ family in Pittsburg County Special District Judge Brian McLaughlin’s courtroom.
Pittsburg County Sheriff Chris Morris said the body of Dalpoas was found July 4 "partially burned and badly beaten" inside the Bache Red Oak Cemetery east of McAlester.
An affidavit filed in the case states Morgan told investigators that a fight occurred between Dalpoas and Nace when Dalpoas was struck in the face and went down after being punched. Nace told investigators that it was Vermillion that struck Dalpoas in the face, the affidavit states.
The affidavit alleges that the three men loaded Dalpoas in the back of Vermillion’s truck and drove Dalpoas to the cemetery where a concrete bench was dropped on the man’s head three times before Dalpoas was set on fire “to destroy evidence.”
A preliminary hearing conference in the case against Nace is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Dec. 13.
Contact Derrick James at firstname.lastname@example.org