Drug trafficking charges against a Lawton man filed in May 2023 were amended to murder following a fatal fentanyl overdose.
Clifton Kyle Steelman, 31, made his initial appearance Thursday in Comanche County District Court where he was charged with felony counts of second-degree murder and unlawful use of a telephone to facilitate fentanyl distribution, records indicate. The murder count is punishable by between 10 years to life in prison.
Steelman had been wanted since May 2023 for a felony arrest warrant issued charging him with distribution of fentanyl and unlawful use of a telephone to facilitate fentanyl distribution. He was arrested Wednesday.
The amended charges stem from an investigation begun with the Feb. 19, 2023, death of Tyler Widenhouse, 30, in Oklahoma City. Widenhouse was found unresponsive in his vehicle shortly before 8:30 p.m. at 12121 N. Rockwell Ave. in Oklahoma City. Officers administered multiple doses of Naloxone, but he was pronounced dead a little over a half-hour later, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Lawton police contacted Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Task Force Agent Girard Capps, who was investigating. Widenhouse’s family had said he had recently completed a rehabilitation program. At that time, it was believed he’d purchased and ingested fentanyl in Oklahoma City, the affidavit states.
Capps stated he analyzed messages on Widenhouse’s cell phone and found that earlier on Feb. 19, 2023, he’d been in contact with Steelman via Facebook Messenger where an agreement to buy two fentanyl pills for $30 was made. GPS location data showed Widenhouse was in Lawton while communicating with Steelman and placed him within 40 feet of Steelman’s home, according to the applications. Steelman was known at that time by local narcotic investigators to be a user and distributor of fentanyl-laced tablets, the investigator stated.
Steelman returns to court at 3 p.m. April 2 for his preliminary hearing conference, records indicate.