Court unseals documents in ex-cop’s sexual assault case
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Unsealed documents in the case of a former Oklahoma City police officer convicted of rape show a secret hearing was held to determine whether personnel records that could help his appeal should be released.
Oklahoma’s Court of Criminal Appeals ordered several documents unsealed Thursday in the case of ex-officer Daniel Holtzclaw, who was sentenced to 263 years in prison after being convicted of preying on black women he encountered on duty. The unsealed paperwork comes days after an Associated Press story about the closed nature of the proceedings.
The newly released documents show they were filed under seal because they pertain to personnel records that must remain confidential under Oklahoma law. Court documents show those records could have value to Holtzclaw’s appeal.
Holtzclaw maintains his innocence and is challenging the DNA evidence used to convict him.
Oklahoma police chief linked to neo-Nazi websites to resign
COLBERT, Okla. (AP) — The interim police chief of a city in southern Oklahoma is planning to resign after a TV station in Texas reported that he was connected to two neo-Nazi websites.
Interim Colbert Police Chief Bart Alsbrook said he hasn’t been involved with the websites. He said he plans to resign from his roles as interim chief and reserve officer.
“Someone has been using my name for years on the Internet in regards to racist topics,” Alsbrook said. “It’s not me, rather someone who has hijacked my name due to my combativeness and rejection to white power skinheads who were always coming to the heavy metal shows, starting fights and messing up our scene.”
Alsbrook said he believes he was linked to the websites in retaliation for his “combativeness and rejection” of white supremacists. He said his name has been used in connection to neo-Nazi groups in Dallas since the 1990s.
“We hate each other,”Alsbrook said. “They use my name in all sorts of things.”
Alsbrook’s name was also used in 2005 to register the trademark “Blood Honour,” an international coalition of white supremacists, the Tulsa World reported. Online records show the trademark was abandoned in 2006.
Alsbrook said he wishes he could but doesn’t plan to seek legal action for against the individuals who used his name.
PETA, exotic animal park in Oklahoma argue over tigers
WYNNEWOOD, Okla. (AP) — Officials of an animal rights organization say they’re concerned about 19 tigers an exotic animal park in Oklahoma recently acquired from a Florida zoo.
Greater Wynnewood Animal Park zookeeper Joe Maldonado tells The Oklahoman the tigers legally belong to him. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officials want the tigers to be moved to a wildlife refuge in Colorado.
Brittany Peet is PETA’s director of captive animal law enforcement. She says the tigers’ safety is a concern.
PETA officials say the zoo has a history of separating cubs from their mothers for paid photos and play sessions. They also say the U.S. Department of Agriculture has cited the zoo for multiple violations of federal animal welfare law.
Maldonado says the Wynnewood zoo has built new cages for the tigers.
Vote set for completion of American Indian museum in Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The Oklahoma City Council is to vote on agreements to complete building the American Indian Cultural Center and Museum.
The Oklahoman reports the council is to vote Tuesday on proposals to finish the project with the Chickasaw Nation. Plans call for an April 1, 2021, opening.
The museum began as a state project and about $90 million was spent from 2006 until 2012, when it ran out of money.
An estimated $65 million or more is needed to complete it, with the state providing $25 million, the city $9 million and tribal and private donations to provide the remainder. The Chickasaw Nation is to cover any operating deficits for the first seven years after the museum opens.
Trial scheduled for brother in killing of 5 family members
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A trial date has been set for one of two brothers charged in the stabbing deaths of five family members in their northeast Oklahoma home.
An April 16, 2018, trial date for 18-year-old Michael Bever on five first-degree murder charges was set Monday in Tulsa County District Court.
Police say Bever and his brother, 20-year-old Robert Bever, fatally stabbed their parents, their 12- and 7-year-old brothers and their 5-year-old sister in 2015 in their home in the Tulsa suburb of Broken Arrow as part of a plot to begin mass killings across nationwide.
A 13-year-old sister survived the attack and a 2-year-old sister was unharmed.
Michael Bever has pleaded not guilty while Robert Bever pleaded guilty to the charges last year and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The museum is at the junction of Interstates 40 and 35 near downtown Oklahoma City.