Charges filed against 3 in Taft shooting

Alexander

A suspect in the fatal Taft Memorial Day celebration shooting was in court Thursday in an unrelated domestic abuse case when the victim in that case said she filed a false police report.

Kendall Devonte Edward Alexander, 25, appeared before Associate District Judge Norman Thygesen in Muskogee County District Court on charges of feloniously carrying a firearm, domestic abuse - assault and battery, and threatening to perform an act of violence. The charges were dismissed after testimony by Aryhel Chappel, who admitted under oath that she filed a false police report.

The incident in question took place on Dec. 27, 2021.

Chappel said in the report that Alexander, father of her 2-year-old and 6-month-old children, got upset with her, hit her, pointed a gun at her and threatened her. Under oath, Chappel said that what was in the police report was not true.

When asked by Muskogee County Assistant District Attorney Ted Abbott if the information in the report was incorrect, she said it was incorrect.

“Yes, I did write an incorrect statement,” she said. “I wrote he hit me, pointed a gun at me and made a threat to me and that is incorrect.”

When Abbott questioned her as to why she filed a false report, Chappel offered several reasons.

“Honestly, Dec. 26 was four weeks from me having my son on Nov. 26,” she said. “I spoke with you and told you I was dealing with postpartum, and I knew that if I was to say this that Kendall would get in trouble. It was embarrassing to admit that I was upset that he was dealing with another woman and I knew that writing this he would ultimately get in trouble.”

Abbott then showed her a photograph that police took of her with a swollen left eye and a cut below that eye. She originally said Alexander was responsible, but recanted when questioned by Matt Price, Alexander’s attorney.

“The woman that (Alexander) was talking to — It’s embarrassing to admit, but I got into an altercation with her,” Chappel said. “That’s how it happened.”

At the conclusion of testimony, Thygesen dismissed the case against Alexander, as well as the revocation application on a 2019 case and acceleration applications on two 2017 cases that were attached to this case.

Muskogee County District Attorney Larry Edwards said he is very apprehensive about filing charges against Chappel for filing a false report.

“I don’t like the idea of women making stuff up and getting someone thrown in jail and possibly prison,” he said. “But on the flip side, I don’t want to  make other women afraid to come in and tell us the truth. I don’t want to cause a chilling effect with domestic violence victims because they’re afraid to prosecute — so I’ll have to think about this one.”

As far as the revocation and acceleration applications, Edwards said he might refile and attach them to the Taft shooting case, in which Alexander is charged with one count of first-degree murder, eight counts of shooting with intent to kill and one count of possession of a firearm after a former felony conviction. He is set to be back in court July 5 for a date to be set for a preliminary hearing.

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