The Duncan Banner

Local News

December 12, 2012

Claxton faces manslaughter charge

DUNCAN — First Degree Manslaughter charges were filed against a Wilson man Tuesday, prior to the man’s first appearance in court.

John Claxton, 37, faces the felony charge following a collision accident Saturday, which resulted in the death of a Ratliff City man, Robert Bench, 37. Claxton, who was arrested by the Velma Police Department at the scene, was driving a semi-truck involved in the vehicle collision in Velma on Oklahoma Highway 7.

“The driver, the defendant, was hauling 80,000 gallons of a liquid he said was salt water,” District Attorney Jason Hicks said. “When we tested it, it was crude oil.”

Hicks said the trailer being hauled by Claxton wasn’t marked with hazmat stickers to identify the trailer’s content. According to information filed by Hicks, Claxton was committing a misdemeanor by driving while his driving rights were suspended.

Hicks said Claxton was driving a 1995 Peterbilt semi-truck on Oklahoma Highway 7, near Perdue St., when Bench allegedly pulled his vehicle out in front of the semi-truck, causing the collision.

“It was the other driver’s fault for the accident,” Hicks said.

The manslaughter charge extended from the fact that Claxton was under suspension and should not have been driving, Hicks said.

According to the information filed by Hicks, “On or about the 8th of December 2012, without premeditated design to effect death, did cause and effect the death of one Robert Bench while the said defendant was unlawfully engaged in a misdemeanor.”

Hicks said the large volume of crude oil being allegedly being hauled by Claxton was another reason why the District Attorney’s Office is seeking the manslaughter charge.

If convicted, Claxton would face imprisonment of not less than four years.

Claxton’s bond was set at $25,000. His preliminary hearing conference has been set for 9 a.m. Feb. 27, 2013.

Text Only
Local News
  • 7-24 Rotary Mike Nelson 0087.jpg Nelson discusses Duncan’s water supply during Rotary meeting

    Duncan Vice Mayor Mike Nelson doesn’t think Duncan residents need to worry about the city’s water supply.
    Despite Stage 3 water rationing, which limits outdoor watering to midnight to 9 a.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, Nelson said the forethought of Duncan’s forefathers, who were also Duncan Rotary members, have created a backup system for the city.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-24 Douglass Pool Update 0081.jpg What’s dug up at cemetery goes down at spray pad project

       Dana Stanley knew just where to go to get fill dirt for the Douglass Park spray pad project -- the local cemetery.
       The city is building a splash pad on top of what used to be Douglass Pool, but  before that happens  a fairly large hole has to be filled.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Traffic stop leads to drug arrest for Duncan man

    Bail was set at $250,000 Wednesday for a Duncan man who was allegedly found to have two bags of methamphetamine and two bags of marijuana in his home.
    Duncan Police Officer Suzannahe Weir said she stopped Steven Fontinott, 62,  for a traffic violation on Saturday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Man drives drunk, rolls truck in the process

    A felony warrant was issued for a Marlow man who was allegedly found to have been driving drunkenly following a rollover accident on Nabor Road.
    Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Darin Carman said William Waller, 33, was pinned under the steering wheel of his truck and smelled of alcohol.

    July 24, 2014

  • Hard year for peaches doesn't dampen summer tradition

    A rusting, silver-colored water tower tells visitors to this rural town between Muskogee and Tulsa that they've come to the “Peach Capitol of Oklahoma.”
    Residents of Stratford, the state’s other self-proclaimed peach capital, might beg to differ. Even so, Porter is known for its peaches, and every year thousands of people flood this town of about 600 residents to taste and celebrate the local crop during the three-day Peach Festival.

    July 24, 2014

  • Gun and drugs found in man’s car as he flees

    Bond was set at $10,000 Wednesday for a Duncan man who allegedly left a pistol, four bags of methamphetamine, a bag of marijuana and paraphernalia in a car after running away from the vehicle.
    Duncan Police Officer Anna Van Dyck said Jahmar Sullivan, 31, opened the passenger door of the car he was riding in and fled while she was conducting a traffic stop on July 6.

    July 24, 2014

  • 7-24 WaterColor.jpg Artistic expression colors her world

    Sixteen-year-old Darien Vassella is a painting prodigy.
    The Duncan native took part in a two-day watercolor class at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center to further hone her talents.
    Vassella said her family realized she could paint when she took her first art class at 13. Since then, the young artist has sold three paintings.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Nighttime run to benefit fight against exploitation

    Duncan’s second annual She Is Safe Run to the Dark 5K will be held at 9 p.m. on Friday.
    The run will be begin and end at Duncan Regional Hospital.
    She Is Safe is a non-profit organization committed to globally  preventing, rescuing and restoring women and girls from abuse and exploitation.

    July 24, 2014

  • That's kind of hot!

    Unexpected isolated thunder storms moved through Stephens County on Wednesday evening with areas receiving less than one-tenth of an inch of precipitation.

    July 23, 2014

  • City Council Water rationing specter suddenly produces a crowd

    The Duncan Council met again on Tuesday, as it does twice a month, but there was something different about the latest gathering -- there were more than a handful of people in the audience.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo