MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

July 15, 2014

Murder hearing delayed while witness sought

Warrant issued for tenant of apartment where man found slain

A preliminary hearing for a man charged with first-degree murder was delayed until next month, and an arrest warrant has been issued for a witness.

Deontee Newton, 21, is charged with the June 15 slaying of Alexander Ethan Garfield. Newton is set to be back in Muskogee County District Court at 10 a.m. Aug. 14.

District Judge Tom Alford will devote the entire day to the hearing for Newton, who also is charged in another case with conjoint robbery and faces prison time for previous convictions.

Garfield, 23, was found shot to death in an apartment at The Pines Apartments at 3010 Denver St. Court records state a witness identified Newton as the person who shot Garfield. Newton was arrested the same day the shooting took place.

Chauncey Edwards, 22, lives in the apartment where the shooting happened. He was scheduled to testify Monday, but he was not present.

A material witness warrant was issued for Edwards’ arrest, said Tim King, assistant district attorney.

“He (Edwards) said he watched him (Newton) shoot and kill him,” King said. “He has decided he doesn’t want to communicate with us anymore.”

Two other matters concerning Newton that were on the schedule for Monday also were postponed until Aug. 14:

• A preliminary hearing on a charge of conjoint robbery. Court documents state Johnathan Fort expected to buy a vehicle from Newton on Aug. 9. Newton drove Fort to an ATM to withdraw money, then drove Fort to an unknown location, pulled out a gun and took $600 from him. Newton hit Fort in the head, shot at him and threatened to kill him and his family, according to court documents.

• A revocation hearing on convictions of possession of firearm after delinquent adjudication, carrying a firearm while under the influence, actual physical control of vehicle under the influence and possession of a controlled dangerous substance. Newton entered a blind plea to those charges in October 2012 and was sentenced in December. For the first count, he was sentenced to 10 years with all but the first two years suspended. He also received one six-month and two one-year sentences.

At the conclusion of the revocation hearing, Alford will decide whether Newton should serve all or part of those sentences in prison.

Newton is being held without bond in the Muskogee County/City Detention Facility.

Reach Elizabeth Ridenour at (918) 684-2929 or eridenour@muskogeephoenix.com.

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