This Hour: Latest Oklahoma news, sports, business and entertainment - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

This Hour: Latest Oklahoma news, sports, business and entertainment

Posted: Updated:


No mental exam needed, sex abuse suspect argues

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A defense attorney is opposing prosecutors' request for a mental evaluation for a man accused of sexually abusing children at an orphanage in Kenya.

Prosecutors are seeking the exam for Matthew Durham, who has been indicted on three felony counts that accuse him of traveling from Oklahoma City to Kenya to sexually abuse children at the Upendo Children's Home.

In court papers filed Wednesday, defense attorney Stephen Jones argued that there was no basis for the mental exam because he's given no notice of an insanity defense or an incompetency claim.

Jones says Durham is assisting in his own defense and is responding appropriately during court proceedings.

Prosecutors allege Durham admitted abusing the children, but Durham's attorneys have challenged the credibility of their client's statement, saying he was coerced.


Officer charged in teen's death to ask for release

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - A Tulsa police officer charged with first-degree murder in the off-duty fatal shooting of his daughter's boyfriend plans to ask a judge to be released on bond.

Attorneys for 24-year veteran Shannon Kepler are scheduled to ask a judge Friday to set bond, claiming that Kepler's not a flight risk. The attorneys are also questioning the case prosecutors have brought against Kepler.

Earlier this week, Kepler pleaded not guilty to fatally shooting 19-year-old Jeremey Lake on Aug. 5. He's been held without bond since the shooting. Kepler's case is set for a preliminary hearing on Oct. 22.

Kepler's attorney, Richard O'Carroll, said earlier this week that there isn't "one credible eyewitness" to the event. Prosecutors countered that it's improper for attorneys to try their cases in the media.


Man pleads guilty in boating deaths of 2 students

JAY, Okla. (AP) - A Tulsa man has pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree manslaughter in a boating crash that killed two University of Arkansas students in northeast Oklahoma.

John DeSelms entered the plea Wednesday in Delaware County. He was accused in the May 2013 deaths of Rachel Nichole Swetnam of Grove and William "Trey" Varner III of Texarkana, Arkansas. Prosecutors alleged DeSelms was operating under the influence of alcohol when he crashed a boat into a houseboat parked on Oklahoma's Grand Lake.

In court Wednesday, DeSelms said he took full responsibility for the incident.

Swetnam, Varner and DeSelms were all students at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

DeSelms entered a blind plea in the case, meaning he did not have a plea agreement with prosecutors. He's set for sentencing in December.


Oklahoma fires trooper involved in fatal shooting

TULSA, Okla. (AP) - The Oklahoma Highway Patrol has fired a trooper who fatally shot a man while he was off-duty in Tulsa.

Capt. George Brown says 46-year-old trooper Sheldon Robinson was fired Wednesday. Brown says Robinson's employment was terminated for "policy violations" that stemmed from the September shooting death of 25-year-old Michael Troy Swatosh. Brown hasn't said which policies were violated.

Authorities say Robinson spotted two armed men outside a motel about 1 a.m. They say Robinson shot Swatosh after feeling threatened.

The 16-year-veteran of the patrol had been suspended with pay following the shooting. The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office announced in January it would not file charges against Robinson.


AAA Oklahoma predicts jump in Labor Day travel

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - AAA Oklahoma predicts that more residents will be traveling over the Labor Day holiday, with a 2 percent jump expected over last year's numbers.

The organization estimated that 408,000 Oklahomans will travel over the holiday. That's compared with the 400,300 Oklahomans who traveled last Labor Day.

AAA Oklahoma says nearly 85 percent of the state's travelers will get to their destination by car, with the remainder choosing to fly or travel by bus or train.

Nationwide, AAA predicts that 34.7 million people will travel over the holiday period, which AAA defines as Thursday, Aug. 28 through Monday, Sept. 1.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.