Three people have been charged with selling fentanyl to a Lawton man who overdosed last week.
Comanche County District Attorney Kyle Cabelka said the work of Lawton police in getting to the bottom of the city’s second homicide case of the year quickly was extraordinary.
Lawton Police Detective Jeff McCoy stated the investigation began shortly after 9 a.m. Jan. 17 when officers were called to 315 SW Washington where they found Steven Knight dead on the living room floor. The department’s Special Operations Unit was called to investigate due to the death possibly being fentanyl-related, the probable cause affidavit states.
McCoy said investigators found information found on Knight’s cellphone between him and his roommate, Jody McDaniel, that indicated Knight was looking for Roxy M30 pills, the affidavit states. According to police, Roxy M30 pills are considered counterfeit Oxycodone pills but containing the much more potent synthetic-opioid fentanyl.
The communication began Tuesday afternoon and continued into the evening. Shortly after 8:15 p.m., there’s a message from McDaniel telling Knight that he needed to get the money together. The drugs arrived around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday and McDaniel asked if she was still going to get half and Knight agreed, according to the affidavit.
McDaniel told investigators she’d awakened around 7:30 a.m. that day to find Knight slumped over on the couch and he didn’t move when she checked on him, the affidavit states. She said she woke her mother to check on Knight and she called a friend to come over before calling 911 a while later. She said she knew Knight took Roxy M30 pills but didn’t know the last time he had, according to McCoy.
McDaniel said Knight asked her to find some pills, and she called Brandon McClure, according to the affidavit. She said he brought over two pills around midnight and Knight paid before giving her half a pill. McCoy stated the investigation revealed Knight bought three of the potent pills. She later admitted her mother had given her $10 to buy a pill.
When McClure came to the house, McDaniel said, she and he smoked the pill she’d purchased, according to McCoy.
After finding Knight in the morning, McDaniel said she texted McClure and told him Knight had overdosed but she hadn’t called 911 yet. She said McClure told her to delete the messages and when she said she had, responded, “You did right,” according to the affidavit.
McClure was found by police at a home at 2804 SW J and taken to the police department for interview. He said he went to McDaniel’s house around 9:30 or 10 p.m. the night before and had received $30 for three pills, the affidavit states. He later returned with the pills.
When asked who he got the pills from, McClure said he didn’t really know the guy’s name other than “Ying” who lives at Avondale Pointe Apartments, 2704 NW 52nd, according to the affidavit. He said the man, now identified as Sang Hoon Lee, met him in the parking lot and the deal was made.
When he returned, McDaniel said he gave Knight the pills and smoked one with McDaniel, McCoy stated. As he was leaving, he saw Knight lying down on the couch.
When McDaniel messaged about the situation the next morning, McClure admitted he was worried about being charged with manslaughter for bringing the pills. He offered investigators his phone and offered to set up a deal with Lee, the affidavit states.
An undercover operation was conducted on Lee at his home, where he was seen selling $200 worth of Roxy M30 pills to McClure, McCoy stated. Lee was taken into custody and during a search, a vape was found. When its top was taken off, a bag with four of the pills was inside, according to the affidavit.
In a search of Lee’s apartment, police found 21 Roxy M30 pills in Lee’s room, along with multiple bag with residue and a handgun and shotgun, the affidavit states. Lee was arrested.
Lee told investigators he’d been selling pills to support his habit and confirmed he’d sold the pills to McClure, adding that “Brandon owes him a lot of money,” McCoy stated. Lee said his messages with McClure would be on his phone and offered his passcode before requesting a lawyer, terminating the interview, according to the affidavit.
Knight’s is the city’s second death by homicide this year.
City’s 3rd homicide
Lawton police continue to investigate what led to the city’s third homicide, which occurred Sunday night.
Police were called shortly after 9 p.m. to 1604 SW E on the report of a shooting and were told the suspect was still inside the home, said Sgt. Christopher Blessing, Lawton Police information officer.
Upon arrival, police gave commands to the suspect to step out with his hands up and surrender. He complied and was taken into custody, according to Blessing. He remains in the City Jail logs as of Tuesday afternoon and has not been formally charged.
An unidentified victim was found dead from a gunshot wound.
If you have any information about this homicide or any other crimes, call the Lawton Police Department, 580-581-3272; or, if you wish to remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers of Southwest Oklahoma, 580-355-4636.