Stillwater Woman Charged with Harboring Murder Defendant
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A woman accused of harboring one of two Stillwater men charged with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Christian Peck, 21, of Stillwater, on March 4 at a house where he reportedly brought marijuana in a duffle bag has been released from the Payne County Jail on $7,500 bond.
Melissa Kay Butler, 33, of Stillwater, has been charged with lodging, feeding, aiding, assisting and concealing Shakeem Rachid Carter, 23, at her trailer on March 7 when he was a fugitive from justice on the murder charge.
She appeared in court Thursday on a harboring fugitive charge that carries a maximum 10-year prison term on conviction. She was ordered to return to court on April 27 with an attorney.
Carter was arrested about 1:30 p.m. on March 7 at Butler’s mobile home south of Stillwater without incident, police said. Carter, who was ordered held in the Payne County Jail without bail, received a court-appointed attorney. He is due to appear before a judge on April 3.
His murder co-defendant, Rodriguez Cortez Johnson Jr., 20, the alleged gunman, who has also been charged with shooting two women at their Stillwater residence in the 200 block of W. Third Avenue, was arrested at 10:40 p.m. on March 7 at a house in Raton, New Mexico, Higgins said.
Johnson will be extradited back to Payne County to face charges of first-degree murder and two counts of shooting the women with intent to kill, Higgins said.
Stillwater police, working in conjunction with the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force from Oklahoma City, had received information that Johnson might have fled to New Mexico with his girlfriend, Shantelle Dawn Waller, 20, of Stillwater, Higgins said.
No charges have been filed against Waller in connection with the incident, court records showed this morning.
The homicide victim, who had been incorrectly identified in court documents by the first name of Christopher, was shot multiple times in the head and torso at about 10 p.m. on March 4. He was flown to St. John’s Medical Center in Tulsa where he was pronounced dead the following day, an affidavit said.
Payne County District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas could not be reached regarding whether she would seek the death penalty against either murder defendant.
One of the women, Kaylee Mullins, 20, who received gunshot wounds to the shoulder, face and head, was released after treatment at the OU Medical Center, an affidavit said. Her housemate, Leeann Dotter, 20, who received gunshot wounds to her hands that she raised to shield herself, was released after treatment at the Stillwater Medical Center, an affidavit said.
Both women, who knew the murder defendants, said during interviews that Johnson was the only gunman, Stillwater Police Detective Inspector Greg Miller alleged in an affidavit.
Carter was visiting Dotter at the house when Peck arrived to visit Mullins at about 8 p.m. on March 4 and was fatally shot two hours later, the affidavit alleged.
Peck told Mullins that “he had brought marijuana to Stillwater to sell to a friend, but the deal had fallen through,” the affidavit alleged.
Carter borrowed Mullins’ cell phone to make about six calls after Peck arrived at the house, the affidavit alleged. After the last phone call, Carter came back into the house with Johnson, the affidavit alleged.
Carter, Johnson and Peck talked about the marijuana, the affidavit alleged. Johnson pulled out a semi-automatic pistol and began shooting Peck, Dotter and Mullins, the affidavit alleged.
After Carter and Johnson grabbed Peck’s tan duffle bag that reportedly contained marijuana and fled, Mullins called Stillwater police at 10 p.m. on March 4, the affidavit alleged.
According to records from the state Department of Corrections and Payne County District Court, both murder suspects were placed on five years’ probation last year after being sent to the state’s Regimented Inmate Discipline (RID) prison boot camp program on drug offenses.
Both had troubled backgrounds including being high school dropouts, who did receive their GED certificates while at RID, court records show.
Johnson’s father was “on drugs and alcohol and very abusive,” according to a report compiled by the state Department of Corrections for the judge.
Johnson “did report regular use of alcohol and daily use of ‘benz,’ marijuana, methamphetamines, and opiates (roxy) beginning at age 13,” the report said. Johnson had numerous run-ins with Stillwater police as a juvenile including being accused of possessing a weapon on school property in 2011 when he was 14, the report said.
Carter “stated that he completed the 10th grade, and was expelled for a year and never went back to school,” a background report by the state Department of Corrections said. At age 19, he was sent to Bethesda Boys Ranch for concealing stolen property and possessing methamphetamine, the report said.
Carter said that his mother died five years ago, his father is unknown to him and several family members have criminal records, the report said.
“All of his friends and acquaintances have been involved in criminal behavior,” the report said.
Carter said “he was sent to Red Rock in Norman for 30 days before he went to prison. The defendant stated that he was placed on medication, but did not refill the prescription. Mr. Carter stated that he was diagnosed as being bi-polar and schizophrenic,” the report said.