MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

May 15, 2013

Ex-teacher waives prelim in gun, drug case

DA: Appears suspect did not bring the items into school

By Dylan Goforth
Phoenix Staff Writer

— A former Muskogee teacher accused of punching a student and having guns and drugs on campus waived his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Paul Steven Washington, 47, and his attorney, Donn Baker, appeared in Special District Judge Robin Adair’s courtroom Tuesday. By waiving his preliminary hearing, it could signal that Washington and his attorney are working on a plea deal with the District Attorney’s office.

“By waiving his preliminary hearing, he would be eligible for some type of plea negotiation,” Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Moore said.

Moore said evidence did not indicate that Washington ever brought the guns, or drugs — a small amount of marijuana — into the school.

 “That doesn’t make it right, but it doesn’t appear the gun was ever brought into school, or that he had the drugs around children,” Moore said.

Washington was charged in March with:

• Possession of a weapon on school property.

• Possession of controlled dangerous substance in presence of a minor or within 1,000 feet of school or park.

• Unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

• Assault and battery.

The drug paraphernalia and assault and battery charges are misdemeanors.  

Muskogee Public Schools spokeswoman Melony Carey said that Washington resigned shortly after being arrested.

An affidavit filed in the case states Washington consented to a search of his vehicle, where two guns, a pipe and marijuana were found.  

Court documents state the weapons were a Colt .380 pistol, which was located under the driver’s seat, and a Ruger P89 9 mm pistol, which was located under the passenger’s seat.

Washington, free on $10,000 bond, is set to return to court June 13 for District Court arraignment.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.