In its case against Miles Sterling Bench, the State of Oklahoma presented eight witnesses and 10 items of evidence.
The preliminary hearing for Bench, 21, took place Tuesday. Bench is facing a First Degree Murder with Deliberate Intent charge for the death of 16-year-old Velma girl Braylee Henry. Henry was murdered June 6 in Velma, and Bench was arrested June 7 in Custer County. Bail was denied for Bench in June, and he has remained in custody since his arrest.
At the end of Tuesday’s preliminary hearing, Special District Judge Jerry Herberger bound Bench over for a Nov. 29 arraignment. The state was represented by District Attorney Jason Hicks and Assistant District Attorney Leah Edwards, while the defense counsel included Gary Henry and Bobby Lewis.
The majority of the state evidence entries were photos relating to the night of the murder. Among these entries were photos of Braylee’s vehicle, a tag to her vehicle, the store Teepee Totem (which is where Braylee was allegedly murdered), and a pool of blood discovered at Teepee Totem.
Some of the evidence entries pertaining to Bench himself included photos of Bench’s face, his hands, the shorts he was wearing, and his lower calf and shoe. State witness Kendell Brown, who had been a detention officer for the Custer County Sheriff’s Department at the time of Bench’s arrest, explained the importance of some of these photos.
Brown said the photo of Bench hands showed swelling. Brown and fellow witness Carver County Sheriff Deputy Quinton Short said Bench complained about his hands hurting, stating one of his hands might have a bone chip.
Brown also touched on the photo of the shorts, and the lower calf and shoe. Brown said both of these had stains of a reddish-brown substance.
Another item the state submitted as state’s evidence was a CD, which contained a audio recording of Bench being booked into the Custer County Jail. Brown said he recorded the moment with his cell phone following some statements Bench allegedly made.
“He said he made a mistake and he might have killed someone,” Brown said.
Short said Bench made similar statements when he Short arrested him.
“He said he may have f***ed up; he may have killed someone,” Short said.
When Short was on the stand, he reviewed the photos of Braylee’s car and car tag, which he identified as being the vehicle Bench was driving when he pulled him over in Custer County.
Short said the vehicle had a large stain in the backseat, which was of interest to him. An Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation photo of the stain appeared as a piece of state’s evidence, which Short was asked to review.
“There was a large amount of what appeared to be blood in the backseat of the vehicle,” Short said.
Although Braylee’s vehicle was reported stolen and the car’s OnStar was being tracked, Short said he pulled the vehicle over because it was moving more than 10 miles over the speed limit.
As a state witness, Short was asked to identify the driver of the vehicle. Short pointed to the defendant table and stated he was wearing an orange shirt. Bench, who was the only person wearing orange a the table, was in a jail-issued orange jumpsuit.
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Half-cent sales tax approval urged for city’s growth
Twenty years have passed since the City of Duncan passed a half-cent sales tax to establish a foundation to strengthen the local economy.
Lyle Roggow, president of the Duncan Area Economic Development Foundation, and Ben Herrington, DAEDF Board chairman, spoke Thursday on the need to continue the sales tax to keep the economy strong.
Junior livestock show finishes Friday night
The 76th Stephens County Junior Livestock Show concludes tonight with the awards presentation at 6 and the bonus sale at 6:30 at the county fairgrounds and expo center.
On Thursday, the doe meat goat show, wether meat goat show, steer show and heifer show were held.
Church Women United organization to celebrate World Day of Prayer
Christian women from various denominations will celebrate their beliefs by coming together this morning to pray.
The local Church Women United organization is set to meet at 9:30 a.m. today in the First Christian Church for fellowship and a program. Today is the 2014 World Day of Prayer, which brings women from all denominations together. The local effort is headed by Church Women United.
Baseball teams remember Chris Lane in Ada
One by one, they stopped playing or coaching and walked past the media to talk about Chris Lane.
Guess you could say he was on everybody’s mind Wednesday, especially the 40 or so players from Redlands Community College and East Central University.
They were all wearing Chris Lane’s numbers on the ECU diamond.
Ray sentenced to life without parole
Stephens County District Judge Joe Enos on Wednesday sentenced 16-year-old Michael Anthony Ray to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of a 14-year-old girl.
Ray, of Marlow, pleaded guilty Dec. 30, 2013, to the murder of Alyssa Dawn Wiles on June 10, 2013, in her home in Duncan.
McDonald talks about Fort Sill to Rotary Club
As the U.S. military continues to evolve, Maj. Gen. Mark McDonald said Wednesday he hopes Fort Sill will continue to improve.
McDonald, the guest speaker at the Duncan Rotary Club, gave an update on Fort Sill and compared the Rotary Club to the U.S. Armed Forces.
Arrest warrant issued for two assailants
An arrest warrant has been filed for Terrance Johnson and Dermond Jones Jr. after an attack in the Elm Terrace Apartments.
The alleged assailants took off with a suitcase containing the victim’s clothes, his wallet with $20 in it and a pair of boots worth $150. The victim was treated at Duncan Regional Hospital and was not able to note who his attackers were until Friday.
Awards handed out at Junior Livestock Show
The Stephens County Junior Livestock Show enters its fourth day today with the doe meat goat show at 10 a.m. followed by the wether meat goat show.
The steer show will be at 3 p.m. and the heifer show will be at 5 p.m.
Modern dance troupe to perform Saturday
A modern dance company based in Oklahoma City will perform in Duncan on Saturday.
Known as Perpetual Motion Dance, the troupe was formed in 2002 and has become known as the premier modern and aerial dance company in Oklahoma.
Waurika city manager fired
Waurika City Commissioners will hold a special meeting Thursday to begin a job search to replace City Manager Chuck Brown, whose contract with the city was terminated at a regular meeting Monday.
Brown was in a seventh year as city manager before his tenure ended following an executive session late in the regular meeting at City Hall. Mayor Jim Bernard, Vice Mayor Carole Eakin and commissioners Gayle Johnson and Bill Everett voted unanimously to confirm the termination.
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