Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

August 13, 2013

Dusten Brown turns himself in

Biological father of Baby Veronica posts 10K bond in Sequoyah County

TAHLEQUAH — tsnell@tahlequahdailypress.com

Dusten Brown, Cherokee citizen and biological father of Baby Veronica, turned himself in to Sequoyah County authorities Monday as a hearing was held in Cherokee Nation District Court about the disposition of his daughter’s adoption case.

A felony warrant for Brown was issued last week by a South Carolina court, accusing Brown of “custodial interference” after he failed to bring his 3-year-old daughter to South Carolina to begin a transition of custody to the adoptive parents.

The South Carolina Supreme Court ruled in July that baby Veronica will be adopted by Matt and Melanie Capobiano.

Brown took the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, saying the Indian Child Welfare act provided custodial rights to him. The court kicked the matter back to South Carolina, after which Brown petitioned for adoption.

Last week, the felony warrant was issued while Brown was attending U.S. Army National Guard duty in Iowa. Brown was subpoenaed to appear in tribal court Monday. Brown did not appear, and tribal officials worked quickly behind the scenes to find a venue where Brown could turn himself in on the warrant.

CN Attorney General Todd Hembree met with a Cherokee County judge early Monday morning at the Cherokee County Courthouse. Sources close to the situation said Brown was originally set to turn himself in to Cherokee County authorities, but one judge declined to oversee the case after meeting with Hembree and worrying about the “media circus” that would come with Brown’s surrender.

Hembree then left the Cherokee County Courthouse, appeared briefly at the Cherokee Nation courthouse, and left. About an hour later, Hembree surfaced with Brown, Brown’s wife Robin, Tahlequah bail bondsman Tom Barnard, and several Cherokee Nation marshals at the Sequoyah County Courthouse.

The group met with District Judge Jeff Payton, who allowed Brown to surrender himself and be released on $10,000 bond. Brown, his wife, and the CN entourage quickly left the courthouse in Cherokee Nation Marshals Service vehicles.

At about the same time, CN Assistant Attorney General Chrissi Nimmo announced in Tahlequah that Brown had turned himself in, though the tribe would not reveal where Brown surrendered.

Brown refused extradition to South Carolina. He is set to appear back in court on Sept. 12.

Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart indicated he has talked with South Carolina authorities. A warrant is expected to be signed by South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, at which time Brown will be arrested and held in custody until South Carolina authorities can pick him up.

According to a report by the Associated Press, a spokesperson for Haley said the South Carolina governor is working closely with law enforcement, the solicitor’s office, the state of Oklahoma and the Capobianco family.

If Brown is to be extradicted to South Carolina, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin would have to OK the move, sources have said.

Custodial interference carries a penalty of up to five years in prison. South Carolina could also seek criminal charges against other members of the Brown family, including his wife.

No members of the Brown family were present at Monday’s tribal court hearing.

According to CN Communications Director Amanda Clinton, the hearing was called by Veronica’s court-appointed tribal attorney, Angel Smith. The hearing was closed and the transcript sealed.

CN officials indicated on Monday that Veronica is staying with her grandparents - the temporary legal guardians – at an undisclosed location.

A small group of Brown supporters gathered outside the tribal courthouse Monday.

“We’re standing our ground to support Dusten,” said Kathleen Wesho-Bauer. “Other family members should be able to step in. Nobody has the right to stop [Dusten] from seeking custody of his child. We talk all the time about men needing to step up and be fathers. Well, he’s stepping up and we support him.”

Staff Writer Josh Newton contributed to this report.

Text Only
Local News
  • sr-NSU-Earth-day.jpg NSU students observe Earth Day

    Students and members of the community converged on Northeastern State University’s Second Century Square on Tuesday to spend an afternoon celebrating Earth Day.
    The event featured tables sponsored by campus organizations, prizes and music by Chris Espinoza. NSU’s Earth Day theme was “Gather Here. Go Green,” and was organized by the Committee for Sustainability and the Northeastern Student Government Association (NSGA).

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ts-smallholders-courtesy.jpg Rural smallholders host annual show

    More and more, many people are showing growing interest in learning the sources of their food, including meat. As such, interest in farm-to-table living is increasing.
    Saturday, the Rural Smallholders Association held its annual spring show at the Cherokee County Fairgrounds, promoting the farming of sheep and goats, along with giving the general public a sample of their products.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • pitts-hurley.jpg Wanted man nabbed during traffic stop

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies arrested a wanted man this week after a traffic stop near South Muskogee and Willis Road.
    Hurley D. Pitts, 40, was being sought by authorities on a motion to revoke a previous sentence.
    Sheriff’s Deputy Jarrick Snyder said he stopped a car after it ran off the road a couple of times. A woman was behind the wheel, and Pitts was sitting in the passenger seat.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SR-Wikafile.jpg Communiversity Band performs Sunday

    Musicians from on and off the Northeastern State University campus have made their final preparations for an upcoming performance of the NSU Communiversity Band.
    The ensemble performs Sunday, April 27, at 7 p.m., in the NSU Center for the Performing Arts. The conductor is Dr. Norman Wika, associate professor of music and band program director. Guest conductor is student Kameron Parmain. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students and seniors.
    “Everything has come together very well this semester,” Wika said.
    “We have about 40 musicians, and everyone who started the rehearsals has stuck with it. This could be the best Community Band concert yet.”

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Council concerned over reports of land contamination

    Negotiations involving the purchase of nearly 20 homes on 7 acres of land near Basin Avenue hit a snag Monday night when concerns surfaced over potential contamination of the area.
    Tahlequah Mayor Jason Nichols had proposed the city purchase the homes and duplexes as a large step in a greenbelt project, which would establish a solid park and trail system from the downtown area to the site of the city’s old solid waste transfer station.
    Until Monday, details of the negotiations had been mostly discussed behind closed doors, though Nichols confirmed the list price for the property to be $480,000.

    April 23, 2014

  • Council tables cell tower permit apps

    Tahlequah city councilors on Monday opted to hold off on approval of two special-use permit applications that would help AT&T install a couple of 150-foot cell towers within the city.
    Branch Communications is asking for the permits as it attempts to construct two monopole cell towers – one on Commercial Road near Green Country Funeral Home, and another at the Tahlequah Public Schools bus barn on Pendleton Street. Other towers are being built outside of the city limits.
    Members of the city’s planning and zoning board gave their OK for both permits last month.

    April 23, 2014

  • SR-WalkaMile1.jpg Walk a Mile 2014

    Men squeezed into feminine footwear Saturday by the hundreds to walk in solidarity with women on the issue of sexual violence – and their clop-clop-clopping echoed down Muskogee Avenue.
    The fourth annual “Walk a Mile In Her Shoes” brought men to Norris Park, accompanied by their enthusiastic female supporters, to walk – and often wobble – in high heels over a mile-long course to raise funds for Help-In-Crisis.
    “It hurts every year,” said John Christie, a Sequoyah High School student participating in his third Walk a Mile. “I get home, sit down, blisters come up and the calves hurt. But it is worth it. It’s for a good cause.”

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • adams-christopher.jpg Michigan man gets 13 years on plea to rape, sodomy of girl

    A 28-year-old Michigan man will spend about 13 years in an Oklahoma state prison after pleading guilty to four counts of first-degree rape and one count of sodomy involving a 13-year-old girl.
    Christopher Dale Adams, of Lake Orion, Mich., received a 13-year prison sentence for each of the five charges, to be followed by seven years suspended. All sentences will run concurrently.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • logan-amy.jpg Police take down pair on pot distribution charge

    Tahlequah police officers arrested a pair Sunday night for allegedly possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute it.
    Tahlequah Officer Cody Warren said police were asked to investigate when 35-year-old Amy N. Logan, of Tahlequah, allegedly took a family member’s car without permission.
    While Warren was speaking with the owners of the vehicle, Logan arrived along with 26-year-old Theoplilus James Mollie, of Tulsa.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • land-lisa.jpg Two nailed with meth, pot hidden in bag of chips

    Two people were arrested early Monday morning when Tahlequah police stopped a vehicle near Basin Avenue and found methamphetamine and marijuana hidden in a bag of chips.
    Tahlequah Officer Cory Keele said he noticed a Nissan heading north on Park Hill Road, and the vehicle later stopped in an intersection.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo


How confident are you that the immunizations for infants and children are reasonably safe?

Not at all confident.
Somewhat confident.
Relatively confident.
Extremely confident.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video