Marshall Key

The Duncan Banner

Stephens County Sheriff’s deputies spent Thursday afternoon searching for a young man after they had received a report from a farmer that he’d been burglarized.

Marshall Wayne Key, 24, of Duncan, was arrested and has been charged with four separate crimes. He is in the Stephens County Jail awaiting his initial appearance.

He also had four outstanding felony warrants, said Sheriff Wayne McKinney.

“This turned out to be bigger than we thought,” McKinney said about the first report of the burglary.

McKinney said that the farmer who had been burglarized on Tucker Road, had been in the pasture behind his home, loading hay. At some point, he noticed a young man whose vehicle had become stuck in his driveway. The farmer used a 20-foot yellow tow rope to help the young man get his vehicle moved. But in the process, the rope tightened so hard that the farmer couldn’t get it removed.

“The guy lived out there all his life pretty much and he was used to seeing people need help and with the ice and snow, he didn’t think much of it,” McKinney said.

The farmer went to his equipment shed to get a crowbar to help undo the rope. That’s when he discovered his shed was ransacked and many tools were gone.

By the time he got back outside, the young man had taken off, driving a 1998 Dodge Neon, silver or gray in color, dragging the yellow tow rope behind it.

“He’s very bold, but the man who was just trying to be a nice guy and help, he got a very good description of this kid,” McKinney said.

“What makes this interesting is that people are calling us with reports when they see something suspicious. That’s what happened, someone called it in when they saw this car and somebody underneath it,” McKinney said.

Deputies Lt. Lawson Guthrie, Michael Moore and David Martin worked the case. McKinney said the young man was apprehended at Rhea and Oliver Roads and was trying to remove the tow rope.

When Key was arrested, deputies allegedly recovered nearly $3,000 in tools that were allegedly taken from the farmer who had tried to help him.

Key has been charged with second degree burglary, possession of controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, possession of paraphernalia and possession of a concealed weapon.

“I believe he had some brass knuckles in his pocket,” McKinney said. The outstanding felony warrants were all drug-related, said the sheriff. He had failed to appear on those, McKinney said. One of those even carried a $75,000 bond, he said.

One of the things that the sheriff is hoping county residents can assist with is to clear up any other burglaries that have taken place in recent weeks and months.

“We’ve been having burglaries in the county,” he said. It’s not known if Key is suspect in those, but the car he was driving bears an Oklahoma license plate, 884 DWG.

“I’d like to know if it has been seen in strange places (prior to Thursday). A search warrant has not been served on Key for his home, but there were drugs in his vehicle. There were enough drugs that it had reached a level of distribution,” McKinney said Friday.

The car is registered to both Key and his girlfriend, but has been released to her. McKinney said she is not charged with any of these crimes.

— Toni Hopper is a reporter for The Duncan Banner. She can be reached at 580-255-5354, Ext. 132 or by e-mail at:

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