Tahlequah Daily Press

Z_CNHI News Service

October 17, 2013

Man arraigned for first-degree murder in death of Heath Crites

ENID, Okla. — A 21-year-old former Enid man charged earlier this year with first-degree murder for the death of Heath Crites was arraigned Thursday via video from Garfield County Detention Facility.

Ronnie Eugene Fuston appeared before Special District Judge Brian Lovell on the capital offense. Fuston was charged March 3 in the Dec. 22, 2012, shooting death of Heath Crites.

Fuston, who was in custody in Oklahoma County on another first-degree murder charge, answered only “yes sir” and “no sir” when Lovell verified his name, address and date of birth listed on court documents.

District Attorney Mike Fields told the judge the state would only make a few requests at Thursday’s hearing. First, Fields asked that bond be denied on the charge.

He also asked the court to provide Fuston with court-appointed counsel and asked the judge to set a date for a preliminary hearing on the charge.

“All three things are going to be done,” Lovell said.

Fields said he filed a motion to deny bail for Fuston, which will be heard during a hearing Tuesday.

Lovell said he would appoint counsel to Fuston because it was appointed in Oklahoma County District Court, but said the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System would have to be contacted first.

Fuston faces life in prison, life in prison without the possibility of parole or death if convicted of the capital offense.

The charge came after more than two months of investigation by Enid Police Department detectives.

According to the affidavit filed in the Garfield County case, police responded at 2:18 a.m. Dec. 22, 2012, to 301 E. Columbia, in reference to a possible homicide.

When officers arrived, they found Crites on his living room floor with multiple gunshot wounds to his torso and extremities. Police recovered shell casings from the living room that were found to have been shot from a .45-caliber Taurus firearm.

Oklahoma City police, investigating an Oct. 20, 2012, homicide in Oklahoma City, learned the gun used in that homicide may have been hidden in Enid. Oklahoma City and Enid police compared shell casings from both homicides and found the same gun was used in both crimes, according to the affidavit.

Fuston was arrested Jan. 9 in connection with the alleged Oklahoma City homicide.

The day of his arrest, Fuston contacted Treylon A. Haley from jail and asked Haley to go to his mother’s house in Enid and get rid of those “hammers,” which is slang for guns, according to the affidavit. Enid police learned Fuston used to live with his mother at 321 E. Wabash.

EPD Detective Tim Doyle interviewed Haley on Jan. 10. He told police he’d received a call from Fuston asking him to get rid of some guns.

Haley initially denied moving the guns, but later admitted he called someone named “Ant,” who then contacted Ivan Williamson to move the guns, according to the affidavit. Haley showed Doyle a Facebook message from Williamson in which Williamson stated he got rid of the guns, according to the affidavit.

Doyle spoke with Williamson, who said he’d been contacted by Haley, according to the affidavit.

One of the guns was at Fuston’s mother’s house and the other was located in a vehicle parked in a lot at 6th and Ohio. Williamson told Doyle he picked up both guns, one a Taurus .45-caliber handgun and the other a Hi-Point .45-caliber handgun, according to the affidavit.

Williamson told Doyle he contacted Haley via Facebook and told him he had moved the guns and they were taken care of, according to the affidavit. Williamson said he sold one of the guns to Casey Oakley.

Doyle then spoke with Oakley, and a .45-caliber Taurus PT 24/7 handgun with the serial number filed down was turned over to Enid Police Department, according to the affidavit. The gun then was turned over to the Oklahoma City Criminalistics lab for comparisons of shell casings from the Crites murder and the Oklahoma City murder. After testing, the lab found the gun was used at both crime scenes, according to the affidavit.

Williamson also told police on or about Dec. 30, 2012, he was with Fuston and Fuston told him he had shot the man on Columbia, according to the affidavit. He said Fuston asked him if he had heard about the shooting and when Williamson said he had, Fuston pointed to himself and said he shot the man, according to the affidavit.

Williamson said Fuston gave him several details about how he had shot Crites, according to the affidavit. Detectives confirmed those details with evidence collected at the crime scene, as well as through their investigation, according to the affidavit.

Haley, 19, is charged with two counts of accessory after the fact and had a bond appearance set for Oct. 31.

Williamson, 22, is charged with a single count of accessory after the fact. He waived his right to a preliminary hearing Sept. 23 and is set for district court arraignment Nov. 4.

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