Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

June 11, 2014

Traveling trio picked up for drinking, theft

TAHLEQUAH — Three Fort Smith area residents traveling through the area after consuming alcohol were the subjects of a burglary investigation last Wednesday.

Miller Barney Clifton, 61; Theresa Honeycutt, 29; and Carl Lowther, age unknown, left Fort Smith Wednesday after drinking vodka to visit Kerr Lake, but stopped briefly at Tenkiller Harbor along the way.

According to reports, sheriff’s Deputy Dexter Scott was on his way to Tenkiller Harbor around 1 p.m., Wednesday, responding to a report of man being passed out at the pool, when he was flagged down at Indian and Burnt Cabin Roads by Butch Drain, a security officer for Tenkiller Harbor.

Drain told Scott he was following a suspect in a blue Dodge truck and asked for assistance. Scott turned around and went back down Burnt Cabin Road to a house, but the driver had fled before Scott arrived.

Scott checked the Arkansas license plate number, and it did not match the vehicle’s identification number. He called for a wrecker to remove the truck, and while waiting for it to arrive, Scott inventoried the truck’s contents. There he found a wallet belonging to Clifton, along with some clothing, Harley Davidson stained glass decor, food, a DVD player in the box and some DVDs.

As the wrecker arrived, a man later identified as Clifton came walking out of the woods with his hands in the air, saying, “I’m turning myself in.”

Scott noticed Clifton was unsteady on his feet, and had bloodshot eyes and a strong odor of alcohol. During the conversation, Clifton admitted he was the owner of the wallet and the pickup. Scott arrested Clifton for public intoxication.

As Scott was leaving the residence, he received a call saying the man passed out at Tenkiller Harbor pool was still there and had been with Miller earlier.

Scott met up with Deputy David Haddock, who was already at the pool.

Haddock told Scott the man who was passed out, later identified as Lowther, had been transported to Tahlequah City Hospital by Cherokee Nation EMS.

Scott then spoke with Honeycutt, who told Scott she and Lowther had been drinking with Clifton in Fort Smith earlier in the day when they decided to drive to Kerr Lake. Along the way, Clifton suggested stopping at “his brother’s” house on Lake Tenkiller to pick up some wave runners.

After arriving at the residence, belonging to DeWayne Hicks, also of Fort Smith, Honeycutt said Clifton walked up to the door, grabbed a crowbar and began prying it open. When she asked him what he was doing, Clifton said he’d forgotten his key.

The trio entered the house at Clifton’s insistence to “change clothes so they could go swimming.” Honeycutt took some clothes from Clifton, but while changing, she became uneasy afraid scared because Clifton was making sexual comments.

She found Lowther, and the pair left the house to find help. After walking up the road, Honeycutt and Lowther came up on a woman who offered them a ride to the Tenkiller Harbor office. At the office, Honeycutt told Drain what had happened and that Lowther was ill.

Scott contacted Hicks, the homeowner, who said he knew Clifton, but that he did not have permission to be at his lake home. Hicks was at home in Arkansas at the time.

Scott arrested Honeycutt for public intoxication. Clifton was arrested for second-degree burglary and public intoxication

 Both were transported to Cherokee County Detention Center, where they remain in custody. Bond for Honeycutt is $350; Clifton’s is set at $7,850.

jnewton@tahlequahdailypress.com

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