Hurst

Testimony in the trial for a Claremore man accused of arranging a sexual encounter with a "15-year-old, Muskogee girl" who was actually an undercover sheriff's deputy began Monday.

Shaun Lovell Franklin Hurst, 37, is charged with lewd or indecent proposals to a child under 16, assault with a dangerous weapon, endangering others while attempting to elude a police officer, and destroying evidence, according to court records.

In Monday's opening statements, Assistant District Attorney Ryan Roberts told jurors some of the evidence they would be seeing in the trial, including emails, text messages and recorded phone calls between Deputy Melissa Jackson — posing as a 15-year-old girl named "Sofie" — and a person who called himself "Shane" and posted a Craigslist ad that said he was looking for a "young" female "virgin."

Defense Attorney Stephen Cale said during his opening statement, "You were told early on that this was going to be a clear cut case, but let me add a little bit of clarity to it. This case does not involve a 15-year-old. The deputy answered an ad on Craigslist. There is a lot of confusion on whether Mr. Hurst knew the age this person was supposed to be."

Hurst was arrested Aug. 4, 2016 when he allegedly drove from Claremore to Muskogee, ostensibly to meet with "Sofie," according to court documents. He allegedly booked a hotel, then drove down Fondulac Street looking for the fictional girl's home.

When deputies attempted to stop the vehicle, the probable cause affidavit says, they were led on a 127-mile pursuit, which ended in Broken Arrow with Hurst's arrest.

Investigators found a smartphone in Hurst's vehicle with the address on Fondulac Street pinned, the affidavit says, and a smartphone Hurst allegedly threw out the car window while attempting to elude police that had phone calls and text messages on it between Sofie and Hurst, and photographs of Hurst on it.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926, @wburtonMPhx or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.

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