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July 11, 2013

In custody for murder

Teens, young adults segregated from general population

DUNCAN — A teenage boy charged as an adult in the murder of a 14-year-old girl from Duncan is set for a court hearing later this month, while proceedings have been pushed back for a teen accused of being a lookout in the crime.

 A preliminary hearing conference is set July 31 for Michael Anthony Ray, 16, of Marlow. He is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Alyssa Wiles, who was found stabbed to death in her bedroom on June 10.

Ray is being held without bond in the Stephens County Jail.

Sheriff Wayne McKinney said Wednesday that Ray is alone in a single cell and is not allowed to mix with other inmates at any time.

 A juvenile adjudication hearing initially set Wednesday for a 14-year-old boy charged as an accessory to murder in Wiles’ death has been postponed until Sept. 4, said Stephens County District Attorney Jason Hicks.

The boy’s name is not being released because he is a juvenile.

Hicks said the hearing, which could have amounted to a trial on the merits, was postponed because the boy is now being represented by a private attorney who needs time to review the case.

After his arrest last month, the boy was taken to a juvenile detention center in Lawton with bond set at $500,000. He has not entered a plea, Hicks said.

Hicks said the juvenile justice system typically works faster than the adult system.  

Authorities allege that Ray went to Wiles’ home on June 10 and stabbed her multiple times. She was found in her bedroom later that day by her father, Brad Wiles.

Authorities say the 14-year-old boy went with Ray to Wiles’ home and served as a lookout. The boy told police that Ray was mad at Wiles for breaking up with him.

Hicks said that because Ray is charged as an adult with first-degree murder, the same rules of the adult judicial system apply to him.

Prosecutors cannot seek the death penalty in the case if they wanted, however, because the U.S. Supreme Court has barred those under age 18 at the time a homicide was committed from being sentenced to death, Hicks said.

Hicks said Ray has until July 19 to get an attorney or have one appointed.

McKinney said that because Ray is being charged as an adult, he is treated as one in the jail.

He said Ray is being jailed under the same conditions as Miles Sterling Bench, 22, who is charged with first-degree murder in the June 6, 2012 death of 16-year-old Braylee Ray Henry of Velma.

Both are alone in a cell and are only allowed out — escorted by two or three detention officers — three times each week to shower, McKinney said. They are under camera surveillance at all times.

“When you have individuals that commit the kinds of crimes they are accused of committing you want to make sure that no harm comes to them while they are in the county’s custody so we isolate them from general population,” McKinney said.

In some cases, including those in which victims are young, other inmates in jails and prisons have their own sense of justice they would like to carry out, he said.

Bench is set for an Aug. 19 hearing to determine if he is competent to stand trial.

He is accused of killing Henry inside a Velma convenience store where he worked as a clerk. He has not entered a plea.

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