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Monday, October 29, 2007

Two alleged gang members suspected in death

9-26-2006 Oklahoma:

LAWTON, Okla. A man serving time in a private prison for lewd molestation may have fallen victim to two imprisoned gang members.

Lawton police investigators allege Brandon James Horne and Michael Sean Rose -- both 23 -- attacked Charles -A- Willingham in his cell on Monday. The 53-year-old died at the Southwestern Medical Center emergency room.

Detectives allege that Horne and Rose are members of the Aryan Brotherhood, a gang notorious for extorting protection money from sex offenders.

Witnesses told investigators Horne and Rose entered Willingham's cell to either extort money from him or rob him of his belongings.

The witnesses claim when Willingham refused to pay them 100 dollars, he was knocked to the ground and stomped to death.

No formal charges have been filed against the pair. ..more..


Lawyer disqualified in local murder appeal

3-27-2013 Oklahoma:

While the court could still hear arguments and testimony regarding the possibility of a new trial for a Lawton inmate serving time for murdering a convicted sex offender in 2006, a Comanche County judge ruled Tuesday that they would not be heard from the defense attorney who filed initial motions.

Comanche County District Court Judge Mark Smith ordered Gretchen Mosley, an attorney with the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System, disqualified from representing Brandon J. Horne, 29, on grounds her representation would be a violation of the Oklahoma Rules of Professional Conduct for attorneys. Smith told Mosley that without a signed waiver of consent from her previous client, Michael Rose, he did not feel it would be appropriate for her to continue representing Horne.

Prison inmate beaten to death
Rose and Horne were both charged with the 2006 murder of Charles Willingham, who was beaten to death during an apparent attempt to extort money from him at the Lawton Correctional Facility. Horne and Rose were reportedly members of the Aryan Brotherhood (UAB) gang.

Mosley initially represented Rose in his murder case while G. Lynn Burch represented Horne. Both men have now contested their convictions. In November, Mosley filed a motion arguing that Burch did not interview two crucial witnesses. But before the court could address merits of the request, Smith had to hear evidence regarding Stoneman's request to have Mosley disqualified, which he filed Friday.

Stoneman made two arguments. First, he pointed out that Horne and Rose were co-defendants and that both have implicated each other. Since Mosley initially represented Rose, he said she had a conflict of interest regarding her previous client's interests and her new client's interests. Second, Stoneman argued that OIDS is statutorily prohibited from being ordered to represent defendants in post-conviction cases, a claim Mosley countered, saying she was representing Horne in a private capacity.

Stoneman argued the court's assumption that Mosley was representing Horne in her own personal capacity was "in bad faith" as OIDS investigators, who work for the state, had been contacting people involved with Horne's appeal on behalf of Mosley. The defense attorney argued she was not using state-provided resources. The judge said he would take her on her word, but pointed out it was interesting that Mosley claimed Horne had the funds to hire her to file the motion but said he was indigent after Smith ruled to disqualify her. ...continued... by Malinda Rust

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