Oklahoma

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Grandma Gets Life for Dressing as Witch to 'Torture' 7-Year-Old

Her boyfriend, a demon named Coogro, was sentenced to 30 years

(Newser) - A 51-year-old woman who dressed as a witch named Nelda to "repeatedly torture" her 7-year-old granddaughter received three life sentences Thursday, the Oklahoman reports. Geneva Robinson of Oklahoma City pleaded guilty to five counts of felony child abuse. The assistant DA says Robinson's granddaughter spent months living in... More »

No Charges for Man Who Killed 3 Teen Burglars

Alleged getaway driver pleads not guilty to murder

(Newser) - The 23-year-old man who shot three teenage burglars dead last week "acted in accordance with his rights as an Oklahoma citizen" and will not face criminal charges, authorities announced this week. Zach Peters, 23, opened fire with an AR-15 assault rifle when Jaykob Woodruff, 16, Jacob Redfearn, 17, and... More »

Teacher Suspected in Teen's Kidnapping Spotted at Walmart

Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas were caught on surveillance video

(Newser) - A 50-year-old teacher was caught on security cameras at a Walmart in Oklahoma two days after he allegedly kidnapped a 15-year-old girl in Tennessee, the Oklahoman reports. Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas are seen in the video—taken March 15 but not confirmed or released until Friday—using cash to... More »

Alleged Getaway Driver in Fatal Burglary: 'I Don't Blame Him'

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez on man who shot and killed 3 suspects

(Newser) - Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez says she knows that a home burglary she's accused of taking part in earlier this week was "stupid" and "wrong"—and she doesn't blame a 23-year-old Oklahoma man for killing three of her alleged partners at the scene of that crime, ABC... More »

Girlfriend at Heart of Burglary That Ended With 3 Teens Dead

Elizabeth Rodriguez allegedly had prior knowledge of the Oklahoma home

(Newser) - Elizabeth Rodriguez believed there were pricey items inside the Broken Arrow, Okla., home of the Peters family. It was for precisely that reason that she planned the home invasion that would get her boyfriend and his two friends killed, police say, per Tulsa World . Rodriguez, 21, has admitted to breaking... More »

Cops: Homeowner's Son Killed 3 Teen Burglars

Getaway driver surrendered after Okla. shooting

(Newser) - Three teenage suspects are dead and their alleged getaway driver is in custody after what police in Broken Arrow, Okla., are calling an apparent home invasion. Police say that after the three suspects broke in through a glass door at the back of the home Monday afternoon, there was a... More »

Best and Worst US States for Women

Say aloha to Hawaii, ladies

(Newser) - Women often wear pink when they're demonstrating for equal rights, but they may want to swap that out for a rainbow-colored lei instead. MoveHub looked at a variety of factors—including a state's gender pay gap, educational equality, and documented instances of violence against women—to determine which... More »

Okla. State Senator Hit With Child Prostitution Charges

Cops say they found Ralph Shortey with 17-year-old boy in motel room smelling of pot

(Newser) - On Wednesday, Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey was suspended for "disorderly behavior." On Thursday, more details emerged as Shortey was charged with three felonies involving child prostitution, the Oklahoman reports. The charges came out of a police bust on March 9, when cops say they found Shortey at... More »

Okla. to Pay Back Man Wrongly Imprisoned for 13 Years

After 2 decades, state agrees to compensate Thomas Webb III $175,000

(Newser) - How much are 13 years of your life worth? Per the state of Oklahoma, $175,000 should cover it for Thomas Webb III, who spent that amount of time behind bars for a crime he didn't commit. Per NBC News , Webb's lawyers say that after 20 years of... More »

Girl Is Youngest Ever to Head to National Spelling Bee

5-year-old Edith Fuller of Oklahoma can spell circles around you

(Newser) - Plenty of adults would struggle to spell "colloquial," "odori" and "sevruga." Five-year-old Edith Fuller made it look like a cakewalk. An early crowd favorite, Edith beat out about 50 competitors age 5 to 14 at the Green Country Regional Spelling Bee in Tulsa, Okla., on... More »

Oklahoma Town Dumps Decades-Old Dance Ban

Henryetta made headlines when Valentine's Day dance was canceled

(Newser) - Kick off the Sunday shoes: Dancing in public is now legal throughout Henryetta, Okla., the AP reports. City leaders voted Tuesday to abolish an ordinance on dancing, the Tulsa World reported. The dance ordinance, with a penalty of $25, prohibited dance halls within 500 feet of a church or public... More »

Former Black Wall Street Tries to Remake Itself

Tulsa's version of Harlem was destroyed in a 1921 race riot

(Newser) - Tulsa's Black Wall Street, an Oklahoma Harlem of sorts, was home to a middle and upper class of 9,000 African-Americans. They were shop owners, doctors and entrepreneurs—some of them were freed slaves—and they thrived in those 35-square blocks. Then in 1921, over the course of roughly... More »

Dozens Fired After Participating in 'A Day Without Immigrants'

'I hope you enjoyed your day off and you can enjoy many more'

(Newser) - Thousands of immigrants stayed home from work Thursday, shuttering restaurants and slowing other industries , for the national "A Day Without Immigrants" protest. Now it appears many were asked not to come back. In Oklahoma, a dozen workers at I Don't Care Bar and Grill were fired after missing... More »

Okla. Anti-Abortion Lawmaker Calls Pregnant Women 'Hosts'

And he's standing by his remarks

(Newser) - A Republican lawmaker from southeast Oklahoma who described a pregnant woman as a "host" is standing by his use of the term, saying his intent was not to offend anyone, the AP reports. State Rep. Justin Humphrey of Lane said Monday he didn't know of a better term... More »

Oklahoma Town's Morality Ordinance Prohibits V-Day Dance

City council won't vote to repeal until after the holiday

(Newser) - In a scene that seems straight out of Footloose, a small town has cancelled a dance simply because it was to be held 300 feet from a church. Henryetta, Okla., is a town of roughly 5,500 people 60 miles south of Tulsa, and had planned a Valentine's Day... More »

Cops: Teacher Arrested After Cartwheel With No Panties

Lacey Sponsler says she was just 'trying to be a cool teacher'

(Newser) - In what may be one of its more unusual Facebook posts of 2017, the police department in Pawhuska, Okla., has reported on an incident that took place Friday in a junior high school choir room. The alleged perp, per KOTV and the Smoking Gun : Lacey Sponsler, a 34-year-old substitute teacher.... More »

Worker Makes $434K Find in Plane Flagged for Maintenance

Yes, that's cocaine

(Newser) - Authorities say 31 pounds of cocaine that was accidentally discovered stashed in the nose of an American Airlines aircraft in Tulsa, Okla., is worth around $434,000. Tulsa County Sheriff's Office spokesman Justin Green says the plane arrived in Miami from Bogota, Colombia, on Sunday. It was flagged for... More »

Cops Hunting Man in Boy's Failed Abduction

He grabbed 8-year-old in Oklahoma City: police

(Newser) - Oklahoma City police have released surveillance photos of a man involved in an apparent failed abduction in the hope that the public will help identify him. The man—Hispanic or Native American, heavy set, and about 6 feet tall—was seen grabbing an 8-year-old boy at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds... More »

10 Most Charitable US States

Utah is for givers: WalletHub

(Newser) - Virginia is for lovers, but Utah is for givers, according to WalletHub . The site has named Utah the most charitable state in the country based on the number of people who volunteer their time, volunteering hours, percentage of income donated, and other factors. The top 10, with a score out... More »

Court: Botched Execution Was 'Innocent Misadventure'

Clayton Lockett's execution lasted 43 'horribly painful' minutes

(Newser) - In dismissing his family's lawsuit Tuesday, an appeals court called the 43-minute-long botched execution of Clayton Lockett—during which he regained consciousness and thrashed around—an "innocent misadventure," Tulsa World reports. Lockett, a convicted murderer, was executed in 2014 in Oklahoma. According to Slate , a drug meant... More »

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