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May 5, 2014

Jury finds Hines not guilty of sex crimes

CLAREMORE —

After deliberating for several hours Friday afternoon, a Rogers County jury found Hunter Lee Hines not guilty of three sex crimes.
The jury returned the verdict, finding the suspect guilty of two of five charges — contributing to the delinquency of a minor and breaking and entering with unlawful intent. 
Hines was charged with first-degree rape, forcible oral sodomy to a child under 16 and lewd or indecent acts to a child under 16. 
The Rogers County Sheriff’s Office arrested Hines in May 2013 after a three-day manhunt for a 12-year-old runaway.
Hines, originally reported to be a family friend of the victim, was found with the girl in the Catoosa area.
The three-day trial detailed a variety of stories of the encounter between Hines and the 12-year-old alleged victim.
The defense argued the alleged victim had credibility issues and the evidence presented by the District Attorney’s Office was not sufficient to support the charges.
The reports, submitted in court, detailed a lack of physical evidence, including DNA evidence, according to Attorney Matthew Tarvin.
The District Attorney’s office urged the jurors to believe the testimony of the 12-year-old girl. 
Jodie Hunt, forensic interviewer for the William W. Barnes Children’s Advocacy Center, testified in the case that children could change their story depending on the stress or the situation.
“Consistency is an issue for the jury,” Judge Dwayne Steidley said.
“The state has a burden of proof,” said Assistant District Attorney Reagan Reininger. “We have proven the defendant guilty.”  
Hines remains booked in the Rogers County Jail on another case.
He is facing federal charges for mailing a threatening letter to President Barack Obama.
The Northern District Court of Oklahoma issued a federal indictment in February.
The United States Secret Service is leading the investigation, according to United States Attorney Danny C. Williams Sr.
If convicted, Hines could face five years in federal prison and/or a $250,000 fine.

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