The Duncan Banner

Local News

September 13, 2013

Ray competent to stand trial for murder

DUNCAN — A judge on Thursday declared 16-year-old Michael Anthony Ray competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the June stabbing death of 14-year-old Alyssa Wyles of Duncan.

Stevens County Special District Judge Jerry Herberger said a psychologist at the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita found Ray was able to understand the charges against him, help in his own defense and was not undergoing treatment for mental disorders.

The ruling means court proceeding resume and Herberger set a preliminary hearing for Oct. 7 to determine if Ray should be bound over for trial. He is charged as an adult and could be sentenced to life in prison without parole if convicted.

A U.S. Supreme Court ruling bars anyone under age 18 at the time a crime was committed from being sentenced to death for it.

Proceedings had been on hold since July 31 until Ray’s competency was determined. Although Herberger read “yes” or “no” answers from the evaluation report before ruling, the report will remain sealed.

Ray’s attorney, Jim Berry of the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, asked that the report remain sealed and Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks did not object.

Ray is accused of killing Wiles at her home in Duncan on June 10.

A 14-year-old boy accused of being a lookout that day told police Ray went to Wiles’ house because he was upset she had broken up with him. Ray allegedly kicked in the back door and stabbed Wiles in her bedroom. She was found later that day by her father.

The 14-year-old boy is charged as a juvenile with accessory to murder.

Ray, dressed in orange jail garb and cuffed at the hands and ankles, was silent during the hearing.

Three Stephens County sheriff’s deputies and a detention officer from the county jail were in the courtroom during the hearing, with one officer standing just behind Ray at the defense table.

Some of Alyssa Wiles’ family members attended the hearing and met privately with Hicks afterwards.

Hicks said he was pleased the court process - which was put on hold when Berry sought a competency evaluation - is moving again. He wished it moved along even quicker, he said, “but that’s part of the system.”

Berry noted that a not guilty plea had been entered for his client and said he and an office investigator were reviewing discovery material Hicks had turned over to them.

He said he would know more after the preliminary hearing, when prosecutors will attempt to present enough evidence to warrant a trial.

“I’m going to find out exactly what they have and the quality of their evidence and then we have to make an assessment after that,” he said.

Police say Ray confessed to the killing, but Berry said people should not read anything into that.

“We’ll see what kind of statements he (Ray) made and whether they can be tested,” Berry said.

Alyssa Wiles’ death came just a year and four few days after 16-year-old Braylee Henry of Velma was killed. Miles Sterling Bench, now 22, is charged with first-degree murder in her death and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

On Aug. 16, 22-year-old Christopher Lane of Australia was fatally shot as he jogged along Country Club Road in Duncan. Three teenage males are charged in his drive-by killing.

Both of those cases have generated considerable media attention, even international coverage in Lane’s death. But Hicks said all three cases were equally important for justice to be served.

“We will put everything into each one that we possible can,” he said.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Council votes for cheaper, quicker water fix

    The Duncan City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to go with a $650,000 fix to its water infrastructure needs.
    The council approved a $43,000 contract with Crafton, Tull, Sparks and Associates to build a 1,000-foot long pipeline that will be capable of putting about 3 million gallons of water per day into Lake Humphreys.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23 DHS Band 0042.jpg DHS band wins fifth straight Sweepstakes

    The Duncan High School band received a rare distinction, winning Sweepstakes for the fifth consecutive year.
    Senior Cody Plumley is excited the band won Sweepstakes for its fifth year in a row, making the DHS Band one of the few school bands to do so.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Do the crime, you’ll face a bigger fine

    It just got considerably more expensive to be cruel to animals, ride a bike at night without a light, drive over a fire hose and noodle in a city lake.
    The Duncan City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to increase the amount of municipal fines and bonds associated with dozens of misdemeanor offenses.

    April 23, 2014

  • Sheriffs: State backing out on prisoner promises

    State efforts to save time and money by shuffling prisoners more swiftly through the system are riling local sheriffs who are losing money because of the efficiency program.
    A change in Department of Corrections practice is landing a “significant hit” on two-thirds of Oklahoma counties, which depend on reimbursements to house state inmates locally, said Ken McNair, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association.

    April 23, 2014

  • McKinney: DOC move will benefit Stephens County jail

    Oklahoma Department of Corrections efforts to move county inmates to DOC prisons has helped the Stephens County Jail dip below capacity.
    But Sheriff Wayne McKinney wonders why it took so long to happen when the county jail was overcrowded for several years.

    April 23, 2014

  • Officer urges volunteers to sign up for mentoring program

    A new in-school mentoring program trying to recruit volunteers got a boost on Tuesday night when Duncan Police Officer Julio Alvarez stepped onto a stage to tell a crowd of 50 spectators that a mentor helped him overcome the trauma of childhood victimization.
    “Go out and spread the word,” Alvarez said, urging people to sign up as mentors through a program that is being developed by The Well Outreach, Inc.

    April 23, 2014

  • 4-23 Assumption 0009.jpg Assumption Catholic to honor Pope John Paul II

    As Pope John Paul II moves toward being named a saint, Assumption Catholic Church will have its own celebration of the former head of the Catholic Church.
    Assumption will have a Divine Mercy Healing Mass at 6 p.m. Sunday to celebrate the canonization of John Paul II. John Paul II was pope from 1978 until his death in 2005.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-22 Tyee Percival OBIT.jpg Tyee Leon Percival

    April 14, 2009-April 19, 2014

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • City Council to consider airport runway rehabilitation

    A rehabilitation project could be coming to the runway at the Duncan Municipal Airport.

    April 22, 2014

  • High rainfall recorded for Duncan, more expected this week

    Duncan’s rainfall total for 2014 nearly doubled between Sunday night and Monday morning, when the community received 2.06 inches of precipitation.

    April 22, 2014

Poll

Who do you favor for the U.S. Senate seat that Tom Coburn is giving up?

State Rep. T.W. Shannon, R-Lawton
U.S. Rep. James Lankford, R-Edmond
State Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City
Former State Sen. Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso
     View Results
AP Video