By Rachel Petersen
A Stigler man who was set for trial on a grand theft charge failed to appear in court. On Tuesday, the jurors were ready to go through the selection process and the judge was waiting to preside over the trial. The District 18 District Attorney’s office was ready to prosecute and the defendant’s attorney was ready to defend his client.
But the defendant didn’t show up.
Bart Laine Guthrie, 35, appeared in court Nov. 30, when the trial date was set. But when it came time to appear for the trail — he was a no show. Associate District Judge James Bland issued a no bond bench warrant for Guthrie arrest.
Guthrie was first charged in October 2011 alongside two co-defendants. He was facing felony charges of possession of a controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine) and grand larceny. On Monday, the district attorney’s office dropped the drug charge and Guthrie was set to be tried Tuesday on the theft charge.
Guthrie’s co-defendants in the case, Adam Dale Hollis, 29, and Daniel Ethan Pitchford, 21, both of Hartshorne, pleaded guilty Dec. 14, 2011. Hollis was sentenced to serve 10 years, with five years suspended, in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. Judgment and sentencing were deferred for five years for Pitchford.
Court records indicate that the three men allegedly conspired together on Oct. 28, 2011, and stole “a black trailer, approximately 10 feet by 5 feet ... that belonged to the Pittsburg County Sheriff’s Office.”
According to an affidavit, PCSO officials were informed that a trailer had been moved from its location “behind a locked gate ... at a field located on Shuman Road.”
Deputy Brad Wilson and Deputy Nick Mattioda were dispatched to the area of the missing PCSO property and “conducted a felony traffic stop on the vehicle” towing the trailer.
According to the affidavit, Hollis, the driver; Guthrie, the front seat passenger, and Pitchford, the back seat passenger, were all taken into custody.
Guthrie’s attorney, Brian R. McLaughlin, of Stigler, did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.
Contact Rachel Petersen at firstname.lastname@example.org.