MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

July 24, 2013

DA removes murder charge against sister

ME report did not list drugs as cause of death

By Wendy Burton
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Murder charges against an Okay woman in her sister’s death have been dismissed, an official said.

Sara Davis, 37, was arrested in May after her sister, Kristi C. Rider, also known as Kristi C. Stamps, was found dead in the 7000 block of North 49th Street East in Okay.

Davis was being held in Wagoner County Jail on $75,000 bond on charges of second-degree murder, drug possession, paraphernalia possession and unlawful delivery of a controlled dangerous substance.

Wagoner County District Attorney Brian Kuester said the murder charge was dropped based on the State Medical Examiner’s report on Rider’s death.

“The report listed her cause of death as natural causes,” Kuester said. “It did not say her cause of death was due to morphine ingestion. So it clearly doesn’t meet the elements of second-degree murder.”

Wagoner County Sheriff's Major Gary Handley said in May that investigators believed Rider died after ingesting morphine given to her by Davis.

“We went out to investigate the death. Something didn’t seem right, and we interviewed Davis, who said they went out about 400 feet into the driveway, and (Davis) passed out,” Handley said on the day of Davis’ arrest. “Allegedly, she passed out, and when she woke up her sister was dead.”

Davis continues to face charges of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, possession of a controlled dangerous substance and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia, according to court records.

Wagoner County District Judge Darrell Shepherd reduced Davis’ bond to $25,000 on July 16 and she was released from jail July 17.

Davis returns to court on the other charges at 9 a.m. Aug. 9.

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.