Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

January 11, 2013

Woman gets 20 years on revocation

TAHLEQUAH — A judge on Thursday revoked a woman’s previous 20-year suspended sentence and ordered her to serve the entire jail term with the Department of Corrections.

Sherry Ann Degase, 52, appeared before District Judge Darrell Shepherd not only for a preliminary hearing on an August 2011 arrest, but for a subsequent request by prosecutors to revoke a previous suspended sentence.

Degase was given a 20-year suspended sentence in 2005 for unlawful possession of a controlled drug, possession of a prohibited weapon, and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Then in August 2011, Tahlequah police arrested Degase at Love’s. She was later charged with bringing contraband – a loaded firearm – into a jail after a felony conviction, and possession of firearms after conviction or during probation.

Degase also faced federal charges for the firearm and is already serving 30 months in the federal system.

During testimony at the preliminary hearing this week and last, Tahlequah police officers said Degase was arrested Love’s in August 2011 when she passed out inside. She was later transported to the Tahlequah Police Department, where Officer Pam Bell was asked to conduct a pat-down of the suspect.

Degase was later taken to a cell to change into jail clothing. Bell testified during the preliminary hearing Thursday that she found it odd when Degase asked if she could turn around to change her pants. Bell said she allowed Degase to turn around, and Degase used one hand to hold up her underwear and the other to pull her pants off.

Bell took Degase back into the department’s booking area after she had changed clothes, and began a secondary pat-down. Bell said she noticed something hard in Degase’s abdominal area, and Degase began trying to struggle with her. Officers later discovered Degase had a loaded revolver in her underwear.

Degase took the stand Thursday and admitted she had taken four Xanax pills prior to her arrest at Love’s. She said she went to Norris Park and took the revolver from her kids, who might have been planning to use it as retaliation for a previous shooting initiated against them.

She admitted to Assistant District Attorney B.J. Baker that she knew she shouldn’t have the gun because she was on probation, but said she was trying to protect children and intended to take it and give it to a woman with whom she was living at the time.

Degase said she stuck the gun into the front of her pants and went to Love’s. She claimed she doesn’t remember what happened from that time until she awoke  in the county jail after her arrest. She told Baker she believes if an officer had asked her whether she had a gun, she would have given it to him or her.

“I would rather go to jail than my son,” Degase admitted on the stand Thursday.

Degase’s attorney, Jim Cosby, asked Shepherd to cut his client “a little slack,” saying she didn’t intentionally take the gun into the jail, and is already being punished by serving federal time.

When considering the revocation request by prosecutors, Shepherd said he first expected to hear Degase had taken the firearm into jail to give the gun to another inmate, or for some other similar reason. But after hearing the testimony, Shepherd said he realized that wasn’t her intent.

But he also said Degase’s possession of the firearm while on probation “is a very serious thing,” and involved a public place and potential safety issues to police officers. He also noted it was her third felony, and then decided to revoke her 20-year suspended sentence in full.

Degase was also bound over for trial in district court on charges of taking the gun into the jail and possessing the firearm after a previous conviction.

Shepherd set a preliminary hearing for Feb. 4 at 9 a.m. on November 2011 charges against Degase, accused in that case of attempting to sell or distribute pseudoephedrine. She has pleaded not guilty on those charges.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ts-marching-MAIN.jpg Marching in step

    Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band kicks off 2014 season with summer drills.

    The Tahlequah High School Orange Express Marching Band has added 30-35 freshmen to its roster this year, and drills began for the newest members last Thursday.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • studie-roberta.jpg Woman accused of stealing cash, taking it to casino

    A 35-year-old Tahlequah woman is free on bond after she allegedly took $1,200 from a man who had been jailed for old warrants.
    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies said they spoke with Jason Jones last week after Jones was arrested by park rangers for the outstanding warrants. Jones said he came to Oklahoma to see family, and when he was arrested, he left his wallet and cash with one of his daughters.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-Hepatitis.jpg Hepatitis vaccinations important today

    The phrase “back to school” may be disdained by kids for many reasons, including a trip to the doctor’s office to update immunizations.
    But hepatitis cases in Oklahoma provide a good example of why these vaccinations are important.
    “There was a time when Hepatitis A was just crazy in Oklahoma. The state was actually known for it,” said Becky Coffman, an epidemiologist with the Oklahoma Health Department’s Acute Disease Service.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • hood-raymond.jpg One man caught, another sought after foot chase

    Two people tried to escape sheriff’s deputies, and one was successful, after a traffic stop on U.S. Highway 62 last weekend.
    Deputy Bryan Qualls was on the highway when he noticed a red Chevrolet Avalanche matching the description of a truck that had been spotted at the scene of a recent burglary.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Detectives investigate deaths of two elderly residents

    Incident may be murder-suicide

    Tahlequah police detectives believe the deaths of two elderly Cherokee County residents are part of a murder-suicide that took place July 24-25.

    July 29, 2014

  • ts-Tax-free-main.jpg Shopper's delight

    Tax-free weekend coming up Aug. 1-3, just in time for back-to-school savings

    Attention, shoppers: Oklahoma’s Tax-Free Weekend is coming up, beginning at 12:01 a.m., Friday, Aug. 1.

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • ballard-amanda.jpg Woman pleads no contest to molestation

    A Tahlequah woman accused of having more than 20 sexual encounters with a 13-year-old boy has pleaded no contest in exchange for a 15-year prison sentence, though 10 years have been suspended.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • svw-arch-society.jpg Archaeologist: Spiro Mounds may have been ancient music haven

    People gathered from across the country at the “center of the universe,” bringing with them different styles of music and instruments, each thought to have its own power and importance.
    This could be the description of a modern music festival, but to Jim Rees, it is a picture of the Spiro Mounds 1,000 years before Columbus came to the Americas.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Two headed for trial for conspiracy to kill judge and others

    Two of the four people accused of conspiring to kill a Cherokee County judge and several other targets were bound over for trial Friday following a preliminary hearing in Tahlequah.

    July 28, 2014

  • Woman accused in embezzlement sought for arrest

    Court officials have issued a bench warrant for a woman who previously pleaded to embezzling more than $40,000 while she worked for Tahlequah attorney Park Medearis.

    July 28, 2014

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Raw: Japanese Soldiers Storm Beach in Exercises Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Two Women Narrowly Avoid Being Hit by Train In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast New Sanctions on Key Sectors of Russian Economy Crayola Announces Family Attraction in Orlando US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue
Stocks