Stillwater Girl Pleads No Contest To Murder As Youthful Offender
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater girl accused of using a 9 mm pistol to fatally shoot a Ripley man in the head on April 19, 2016, when she was 14, has pleaded no contest to first-degree murder as a youthful offender, according to Payne County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Etherington.
Makayla Dawn Brown, now 15, who remains held without bail at a juvenile facility, will be 16 at the time of her scheduled sentencing on Sept. 8 by Payne County Associate District Judge Stephen Kistler.
The girl’s mother had allegedly been pistol-whipped by the victim in the head a month before he was killed, according to court records.
The victim, Mario Dwight Smith Sr., 45, was an accused methamphetamine trafficker facing 14 felony counts carrying as much as nine life prison terms plus 60 years on conviction, court records show.
Regarding the possible sentence that the girl could receive for murder, the prosecutor said in an email, “Typically as a youthful offender, they are first required to complete a treatment plan through the Office of Juvenile Affairs,” in custody, which can take up to 36 months to finish.
“Depending on how old the offender is, they may or may not be able to complete the program by the time they turn 18 and one-half years.
“If they have not completed the program or have failed the program, then at 18 and one-half years they may be bridged from OJA to the adult (prison) system.
“As a youthful offender entering a blind plea, the court can sentence her to any, except life or life without parole,” the prosecutor said in an email.
“It is my intent, because of her age, to ask for a conviction, completion of the program, and then the court to bridge her to a term of years upon completion of the program.
“With that being said, she will not be getting out any time soon,” the prosecutor added in an email.
In ordering the girl to face the murder charge as a youthful offender, Payne County Special District Judge Katherine Thomas said in a written ruling filed last year, “At the time of the offense, the defendant was fourteen years, eight months.”
“The offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated and willful manner,” that resulted in death, the judge said.
“The defendant has no prior delinquent adjudications or OJA placements. The defendant does have prior referrals to the Office of Juvenile Affairs for burglary of an auto, domestic assault and battery, resisting arrest and habitual truancy,” the judge noted in her ruling.
“While it does appear that the defendant has sufficient intellect and cognitive abilities to understand the nature of her actions and the consequences, the defendant has deficiencies in coping skills and societal expectations. She understands societal expectations, but has chosen to ignore them.
“Her home environment and peer associations have severely limited her abilities to function as a productive individual, though she does know right from wrong. Her environment is unstable, inconsistent, lacking in appropriate care, supervision and guidance.
“She is developmentally age-appropriate, but consistently chooses a pattern of criminal conduct. Inter-personal issues and substance abuse permeate her living conditions.
“The Youthful Offender system appears to have sufficient treatment resources. The court finds that the placement must be a secure facility to adequately protect the public.
“The OJA report indicates that there is a reasonable likelihood that the defendant could be rehabilitated through the programs offered in the youthful offender system. The defendant possesses adequate intellect and cognitive abilities to avail herself to the resources offered.
“Her risk of offending is characterized as moderate and her amenability to treatment is fair,” the judge ruled in denying the defense motion that the girl be treated as a juvenile, but instead ruling that she be certified as a youthful offender. The prosecutor had charged the girl as an adult.
Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Agent Lynda Stevens wrote in an affidavit that on April 25, 2016, she spoke to Kawaii Mitchell Smith, who “reported Makayla came over to her house after Mario was found dead. Kawaii reported Makayla told her she was the one who killed Mario.
“Makayla told Kawaii she shot Mario in the head. Kawaii reported Makayla was laughing when she told her she killed Mario.
“Kawaii felt like Makayla was bragging about killing him,” the OSBI agent alleged in her affidavit.
When OSBI agents arrived at the victim’s home where he was found dead in his kitchen two days after the shooting, multiple items were collected including a 9 mm casing, but the gun was not located, the affidavit said.
“Mario was on the west side of the kitchen bar and was searching for his ‘stash,’ when as he was bent over, the girl shot him in the head, the affidavit alleged. A witness said he could hear the girl’s mother yelling, crying and being upset, the affidavit said.