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January 17, 2009

Evidence against Parks weighed

Claremore — A Claremore man remains in jail this weekend as the validity of evidence against him is being weighed by a Rogers County judge.

Twyone Dion Parks, 25, was present Thursday afternoon in the courtroom of Judge Dwayne Steidley, where his attorney alleged the evidence against him in connection with felony charges was “unconstitutional” and the statute on which he is charged to be “fatally flawed on its face.”

Parks was arrested in March 2008 in connection with leaving a severed dog’s head at the door of his neighbor at a Claremore apartment complex, and for allegedly planning a “massacre” at Rogers State University.

Parks’ attorney Jackson M. Zanerhaft of Tulsa had previously made unsuccessful attempts to “quash and dismiss” charges against Parks, citing his “constitutional rights to free speech” were violated, regarding writings of Parks which indicated his intentions to cut off and freeze a woman’s head, kill another man, and shoot eight people at Rogers State University.

At Thursday’s evidentiary hearing, Zanerhaft suggested that Parks suffered from mental problems at the time of his arrest and was therefore incapable of giving Claremore police his consent to enter his apartment and examine his vehicle, from where much of the evidence being used in the case against Parks was retrieved.

At one point, Zanerhaft questioned the constitutionality of the statute on which Parks was held, arguing the definition of “devise” with regards to Parks’ being charged with “devising or scheming plans to harm another person,” with the recitation of the definition of the term in Merriam-Webster dictionary.

“My interpretation of ‘devise’ is ‘to form in the mind by new combinations or applications of ideas or principles’,” Zanerhaft said. “This indicates that if you imagine something, you can be convicted of it — to me, this is a violation of the Constitution and of the United States.”

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