The Law Blog of Oklahoma

Leaving an Abusive Relationship: Getting Help in Oklahoma

Posted : Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oklahoma is plagued by high rates of domestic violence, including child abuse, spousal abuse, and intimate partner violence. The Tulsa World cites the Violence Policy Center in saying that the state ranks third nationally in the number of domestic violence deaths. Oklahoma law enforcement responded to more than 24,000 domestic violence calls in 2012, and statistics show that the number of domestic abuse calls each year has not changed significantly. Furthermore, the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) reports that in 2013, there were 11,418 children involved in substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect--a number that has increased for three years straight and is nearly 60 percent greater than the number of substantiated cases of child maltreatment in 2010. 
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Parents of Plaza Towers Children File Tort Claim against Moore Public Schools

Posted : Friday, May 23, 2014

Just over a year ago, a devastating tornado swept through Moore, Oklahoma, killing 24 people, nine of them children. Of the nine children who died in that storm, seven were students at Plaza Towers Elementary, trying to take shelter from the storm in the halls of their school. Since their deaths, parents across the state have been crying out for change in the way our schools try to protect children from the tornadoes that all too often rage across our state. Putting tornado shelters in schools has become a priority for many Oklahomans. 
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Facebook Messages Lead to Rape Arrest for OKC Man

Posted : Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Internet safety experts caution parents to be vigilant in keeping a watchful eye on their children's online activities. Children and teens are often easily coerced into adult situations, and by keeping the lines of communication open and prohibiting secrecy of social media accounts, parents may be able to reduce the risk of their children falling victim to an online predator. One family is dealing with the fallout of discovering, via Facebook, that their 14-year-old daughter has been involved in a sexual relationship with a 48-year-old Oklahoma City truck driver. 
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Casey Kasem Found after Daughter Granted Conservatorship

Posted : Friday, May 16, 2014

When we hear of conservatorship in conjunction with celebrities, we often think of the highly publicized breakdown of Britney Spears, when she shaved her head and was placed on 5150 involuntary psychiatric hold before a court made her father her conservator. Not every conservatorship is placed because an over-indulged rock star spirals into addiction or loses touch with reality, though. Most are placed for much more ordinary reasons--like an aging parent can no longer care for himself or herself. 
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Hot Air Balloon Crash: Is Industry Self-Regulation Enough?

Posted : Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The inaugural Mid-Atlantic Balloon Festival in Doswell, Virginia, kicked off with 13 hot air balloons taking to the air. The event was expected to draw some 20,000 people, but it was cancelled Friday night after one of the balloons in the inaugural launch crashed into power lines on descent, killing the pilot and two passengers. 
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Amber Alert Tips Lead to Recovery of Tulsa Kidnapping Victim

Posted : Friday, May 09, 2014

On Sunday night, parents and children watched in horror as an 8-year-old girl was snatched from a swing at a Tulsa apartment complex. Although there were several witnesses, information was scarce. Witnesses identified the suspect's car as a "possibly white" Ford Focus, but the Amber Alert described the vehicle as a white sport utility vehicle. The suspect's car was actually a silver Focus. 
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When Rock Stars Divorce: The Flaming Lips

Posted : Tuesday, May 06, 2014
In 2012, Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne and his common law wife, J. Michelle Martin-Coyne, separated after speculation that the musician began having an affair with a 20-something young woman he allegedly met at Kamp's in Oklahoma City. After approximately a year apart, in September 2013, Martin-Coyne filed for divorce on the grounds of "irreconcilable incompatibility." Since that time, the petitioner (Michelle) and the respondent (Wayne) have gone back and forth about a number of factors, including the date of their marriage, the intellectual property to which each is entitled, and the grounds for divorce. The divorce of Wayne Coyne and Michelle Martin-Coyne illustrates how even a divorce that doesn't involve children can be extremely complicated.  
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Driver Dies 'Happy' in Distracted Driving Crash

Posted : Friday, May 02, 2014

Seconds after posting to Facebook, a distracted driver was killed in a head-on collision. Her final status update? "The happy song makes me HAPPY," in reference the the Pharrell song by the same title. 
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Former Coach Convicted of Rape, Forcible Sodomy of Student

Posted : Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A former basketball coach with Western Heights High School in Oklahoma City was convicted of ten felony sex crimes late last week in Oklahoma County District Court. 
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Oklahoma Sex Offender ‘Zone of Safety’ Restrictions

Posted : Saturday, April 19, 2014

The intent of the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registration Act and other similar state and federal sex offender registration legislation is to protect the public safety—and in particular, the safety of children—from sexual predators. Many critics of registration programs say that registration and public notification of a person’s sex offender status does not do anything to curb sexual violence. Instead, it simply serves as a method of public shaming for those accused of sex crimes. The majority of registered sex offenders are not violent, predatory, or habitual sex offenders. In Oklahoma, though, with its offense-based risk-level assessment, people of varying risk of re-offense are lumped together. For example, a person convicted of second degree rape—often for sex with a willing “victim” who was legally unable to consent—is classified as a Level 3, high risk offender in the same category as serial rapists, child rapists, and violent rapists. Those convicted of statutory rape typically have a low risk of re-offending, yet they are marked for life by lifetime sex offender registration requirements and restrictions, branded as a high-risk offender. 
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