Tahlequah Daily Press

Local News

November 29, 2012

Officials say fugitive’s wife was aiding and abetting

TAHLEQUAH — Cherokee County sheriff’s investigators are asking prosecutors to file charges against the imprisoned wife of a fugitive who was arrested last week in Muskogee.

Investigator James Brown is requesting that Christie E. Vaughn, 44, be charged with aiding and abetting.

Vaughn married Richard James Kessinger Sr., 58, last May, about two months after she and Kessinger were charged with manufacturing methamphetamine.

Vaughn was sent to prison at Hillside Community Correctional Center in Oklahoma City for the methamphetamine charges, but Kessinger bonded out of jail, and until this month had been sought by authorities for failing to register as a sex offender and for the pending meth charges.

Brown’s request that Vaughn face new charges is based on a series of recorded phone calls she reportedly had from inside prison with Kessinger and her mother, Dawn M. Cain, 61.

Cain was arrested earlier this month in Cherokee County for harboring a fugitive and aiding and abetting, and allegedly admitted she had transported Kessinger around. Authorities captured Kessinger in Muskogee just a few days later, where they also arrested Veronica M. Crow, 63, on accusations of harboring a fugitive.

According to Brown, officers at the Oklahoma City prison provided several recorded calls among Vaughn, Kessinger and Cain. During one call, Kessinger reportedly asked Vaughn if she could secure an identification for him to get into the prison, but Vaughn told him she couldn’t because the prisoners are well-guarded.

Vaughn also allegedly told Kessinger to call a lawyer in Stilwell to help with his case. During that same call, Vaughn reportedly talked to Cain and asked her mother if Kessinger could stay at another house in Cherokee County. Brown said the house mentioned in the conversation is the one at which Kessinger and Vaughn were arrested for manufacturing meth earlier this year, and Cain allegedly agreed Kessinger could go there.

During a second phone call, Vaughn told Kessinger he should contact some people and they would hide him, Brown said. Vaughn indicated she could find a place for Kessinger to hide out in Stilwell.

Cain reportedly told Vaughn during a third phone call that Kessinger had been staying somewhere in the Gideon area; and in a fourth call, Cain allegedly told her daughter she transported Kessinger to a float operation along State Highway 10 to pick up some tools and a battery to fix Crow’s car that had broken down.

During another call, Kessinger told Vaughn he might “go east,” where he has family, Brown said. Kessinger also told his wife he had stayed with Cain.

Cain, in another call, allegedly told Vaughn that Kessinger was still staying at her house.

Brown said most of the phone calls among the three were around 15 minutes long. His report on the case has been submitted to the District Attorney’s Office.

Kessinger and Crow were booked into jail in Muskogee County after their arrest last week. Crow has formally been charged with harboring a fugitive from justice, a felony, and is due back in court there in December. Kessinger was formally charged in Muskogee County with failure to notify address change as a sex offender, a felony, and will also face his ongoing court cases in Cherokee County.

Neither Cain nor Vaughn had been formally charged in Cherokee County District Court as of Wednesday.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • svw-beagles-MAIN.jpg Going to the dogs

    Hounds at center stage for more than just Red Fern Festival

    Larry Blackman and Titus Blanket have always loved dogs, especially beagles. In their respective roles as president and vice president of the Cherokee County Beagle Club, they’ve turned that love into a passion.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • sanders-jeri.jpg Murder charge against mother of dead boy, 3, dismissed

    A first-degree murder charge has been dropped against a 37-year-old mother accused in the death of her 3-year-old son.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • supersalary.jpg Okla. superintendents paid comparatively well; teachers 46th lowest

    Administrators say they work year-round, have other duties

    As public education in Oklahoma continues to feel the pinch of a shrinking state budget, watchdog groups and district patrons across the state are asking whether superintendents are getting a disproportionate piece of the financial pie.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Boards keep city, county afloat

    City and county officials rely on a variety of boards to oversee diverse and complex issues, and many of their members work behind the scenes to keep the wheels of government oiled and turning.
    The city of Tahlequah currently has 10 boards and three trust authorities. Cherokee County has two county-specific boards.

    July 31, 2014

  • HPWA contract raises gas to $3.99 a gallon

    The Hulbert Public Works Authority renewed its natural gas contract with Constellation Energy July 29, raising fuel prices to $3.99 per gallon for the next two years.

    July 31, 2014

  • Tourism Council OKs compensation

    The Tahlequah Area Tourism Council held its annual retreat Wednesday, and approved paying former Director Kate Kelly 100 hours of annual leave.

    July 31, 2014

  • rf-poker-run-main.jpg Poker run

    Fundraiser was in the cards for local philanthropic group

    It was perfect weather, with temperatures in the high 80s Saturday, as boaters filled their vessels with friends for a fun afternoon on Lake Tenkiller. A crowd gathered at Cookson Bend Marina, and folks lined up to support a local charity event.
    As fundraisers go, the Beta Sigma Phi Mu Omega Poker Run last Saturday could be considered huge success, as nearly $9,000 was collected.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • bilbrey-anthony.jpg Man arrested for blackmailing woman for sex

    Cherokee County sheriff’s deputies put a man behind bars Monday night after he allegedly tried to blackmail a woman by threatening to post nude photos of her on the Internet if she did not meet him for sex.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Peach_photo_2.jpg Peach crop lean, but fruit still available

    Summer is all about peaches in Porter – especially at Livesay Orchard.
    The Livesay Orchard is still busy a week after Porter’s annual peach festival. The orchard’s crop this year was cut in half from what had previously been expected, according to Kent Livesay, one of the owners of the orchard.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • jackson-jaymee.jpg Tot’s injuries prompt abuse charges for two local residents

    A Tahlequah couple was formally charged Tuesday with child neglect and child abuse after an 18-month-old girl was found with a number of injuries.

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks