Claremore Daily Progress

State/Nation

August 23, 2013

Murder tarnishes image of 'Duncan, U.S.A.'

(Continued)

DUNCAN, Okla. —

Most people in Duncan get along - including those on the City Council - and most will tell you it’s a great place to live.

“The citizens of Duncan know what kind of people we really are and that what has happened is not the norm in our community,” said City Manager Jim Frieda on Thursday.

But, Frieda acknowledged, "The reality is what people in Australia know about Duncan, what people in Israel know about Duncan, what people in England know about Duncan, they have gotten off of the coverage of this."

In fact, it wasn't Duncan's first murder of the year.

A 16-year-old, Michael Anthony Ray, is in the Stephens County Jail on charges that he killed a 14-year-old girl, Alyssa Wiles, in June. Another boy told police that Ray was angry she had broken up with him.

About a year earlier - and 20 miles away in Stephens County - Braylee Rae Henry, 16, was murdered in a convenience store. Miles Sterling Bench, 22, also is in the county jail facing a first-degree murder charge.

“I would never have believed that when I was elected sheriff five years ago, I would sit here today and have five murder suspects in our jail right now," said Sheriff Wayne McKinney. "… That is really alarming.”

But, like the police chief, McKinney stressed that Duncan is a safe place.

“I just don’t want people to think we have this major crime spree going on and being nervous about living here,” he said.

Last week's crime has also raised racial issues in this city, where about 85 percent of the population is white, about 5 percent are black, and others claim a mix of races including Native American.

Lane, the murder victim, was white, as is the teenager accused of driving the car used in the crime. The teenager accused of pulling the trigger is of mixed race, and the third one arrested is black. The latter two are charged with first-degree murder, while the driver faces lesser offenses that could still land him in prison for 90 years.

Text Only
State/Nation
  • Gas prices continue falling in Oklahoma

    AAA Oklahoma says gas prices continue to drop in the state as demand nationwide drops below 9 million barrels per day.

    July 29, 2014

  • Perry: Texas plans to send 1,000 guardsmen to border

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry plans to deploy as many as 1,000 National Guard troops to South Texas to bolster security along the Mexico border, a local lawmaker confirmed Monday.

    July 21, 2014

  • NASA renames building for Neil Armstrong

    NASA has honored one of its most famous astronauts by renaming a key building at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

    July 21, 2014

  • New arrivals worry some in the Oklahoma panhandle

    A family who says they were excommunicated from Warren Jeffs' polygamous sect has moved to a small city located in the Oklahoma Panhandle, raising concerns among some residents.

    July 20, 2014

  • Celebrate 45 years since man's first steps on the moon

    Now's the time to get moonstruck.

    Forty-five years ago Sunday, Apollo 11's Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on another world. Armstrong's "one small step ... one giant leap" on the dusty lunar surface July 20, 1969, still stirs hearts.

    July 20, 2014

  • US outlines case against Russia on downed plane

    Video of a rocket launcher, one surface-to-air missile missing, leaving the likely launch site. Imagery showing the firing. Calls claiming credit for the strike. Recordings said to reveal a cover-up at the crash site.

    July 20, 2014

  • Oklahoma Capitol renovation project previewed

    State officials have previewed preliminary plans for renovating the century-old Oklahoma State Capitol amid a display of artifacts from groundbreaking ceremonies for the structure.

    July 17, 2014

  • House passes tax breaks to boost charitable giving

    The House passed a package of tax breaks Thursday designed to boost charitable donations by seniors, private foundations and procrastinators.

    One provision provides tax breaks to people over 70 who make donations from their individual retirement accounts. Another reduces excise taxes on private charitable foundations.

    July 17, 2014

  • Should online accounts die when you die?

    Should your emails, web albums and other online accounts die when you do? Or should you be able to pass them down to a family member much as you would a house or a box of letters?

    July 17, 2014

  • Obama, Putin discuss Malaysia Plane incident

    The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin and President Barack Obama have discussed the Malaysia Airlines plane incident over eastern Ukraine.

    July 17, 2014

Poll

Do you prefer the warm summer weather of 2013 or the mild rainy weather we are currently experiencing?

Hot/Dry Summer
Mild/Wet Summer
I prefer any season but Summer.
I don't have an opinion.
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN