Tahlequah Daily Press

January 4, 2013

Local man accepts plea reducing felony charges

By JOSH NEWTON
Staff Writer

TAHLEQUAH — A Tahlequah man accepted a plea deal Thursday reducing two major felony charges to misdemeanor counts.

Donald Ray Wilder, 62, was charged in August with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and child abuse by injury. Prosecutors alleged Wilder used a knife to cut the hands of Scott Boatwright during an argument, and struck a boy with a door.

Assistant District Attorney Doug Dry on Thursday offered Wilder two misdemeanor counts of domestic assault. Dry said the offer is based on the facts of the case that surfaced during a preliminary hearing.

Dry said it appears Wilder was irritated at a young boy when he left the door open at a residence, so Wilder slammed the door, which hit the youngster’s toe. Boatwright became upset at Wilder and the two scuffled, with Boatwright receiving a small cut on his hand from a knife Wilder had wielded.

Dry said Boatwright was later arrested by police, and Wilder was taken to a hospital for treatment.

As part of the plea deal, Wilder was given credit for time already spent in jail, and will serve one-year suspended sentences and District Attorney supervision on both misdemeanor counts.

District Judge Darrell Shepherd told Wilder in court that he looked over Wilder’s previous criminal history in Cherokee County, including several charges of driving under the influence, and a 2009 case of shooting with the intent to kill.

“It sounds like you’re getting a pretty good deal,” Shepherd said of Thursday’s plea agreement. “Don’t let yourself get into anymore problems. Don’t get in trouble again.”