(Stillwater, Okla.) – On his trial day, a Pawnee man pleaded guilty Monday to a reduced charge of felony murder in the second-degree in the drug-related slaying of a Pawnee man near the Cimarron Turnpike north of Stillwater.
Jered Lee Holbrook, 30, accepted a plea bargain with the prosecution for a 20-year prison term on the amended murder charge, which can be punishable by 10 years to life in prison, a court official said.
Holbrook remains held in the Payne County Jail without bail pending his sentencing on Oct. 27 by District Judge Phillip Corley, who ordered a pre-sentencing investigation Monday, court records show.
Holbrook was originally charged with felony murder in the first-degree, which was reduced Monday to the second-degree, and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, a felony count that was dismissed by the prosecution Monday in the plea agreement.
On Monday, a jury was being selected in Payne County for the trial of Holbrook’s co-defendant, Sarah Nicole Kelly, 23, of Pawnee, who remains charged with felony murder in the first-degree and conspiracy to commit armed robbery, a court official said.
The slain Pawnee man, James Fields, 30, reportedly planned to rob Kelly’s alleged drug dealer, Larissa Joy Singleton-Clark, 39, of Stillwater, but instead was shot repeatedly in the back and torso by her boyfriend, according to court records.
The fatal shooting occurred on the night of Feb. 21, 2016, in the 7800 block of N. Perkins Road north of Stillwater, near the Cimarron Turnpike in a turnabout area where six shell casings from a .40-caliber semi-automatic were collected, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Agent Richard Brown testified in a preliminary hearing.
When Kelly was interviewed after her arrest, Kelly said that on Feb. 21, 2016, “James Fields and Jered Holbrook came to her house and said they wanted to rob a drug dealer. She had purchased meth from Larissa a few days earlier,” OSBI Agent Derek White testified in a preliminary hearing.
“She (Kelly) borrowed a white Dodge Neon and contacted Larissa to arrange a drug transaction. Holbrook drove. Larissa set the meeting location. Larissa’s son arrived, got out, got schitzed out and left. He came back. Fields said he couldn’t find his wallet. He left again and called Larissa,” the OSBI agent testified Kelly told him.
“Larissa agreed she’d do the transaction. The goal was to steal meth from Larissa. Later, Larissa, Larissa’s son and Larissa’s boyfriend arrived in a Jeep. Larissa exited and Larissa sat in the back seat of the Neon. She said Fields and Larissa were discussing when Larissa’s son walked up.
“James Fields pointed the firearm at Larissa’s son and said ‘give me the dope.’ Larissa and Larissa’s son retreated. The shooting came from the passenger side of the Jeep,” the OSBI agent testified Kelly told him.
“Holbrook drove away with her and Fields in the car. They needed to get rid of the firearm. She did throw it out. They took James Fields to the hospital. She said, ‘I’ll lie to the police, leave out the drug transaction,’” the OSBI agent testified Kelly told him.
During an interview, Holbrook, who reportedly said he had been using methamphetamine for many years, said that he met Fields through his girlfriend and went to his residence in Pawnee where Fields told him he wanted to take someone’s methamphetamine, the OSBI agent testified in a preliminary hearing.
“Mr. Holbrook told Mr. Fields he knew a girl he could rob. He said he and Fields went to Sarah Kelly’s residence and requested she borrow a car to rob Ms. Kelly’s drug dealer,” the OSBI agent testified.
“Holbrook said he drove to Stillwater. He had a .22-caliber revolver. He gave the revolver to Fields to complete the robbery. Holbrook drove to the meeting location on N. Perkins Road with Sarah and Fields,” the OSBI agent testified.
“He said they spoke with the drug dealer and ordered meth. He said the drug dealer’s son arrived. Holbrook said he told the drug dealer’s son, Chris Singleton, to show his buddy the dope. At this meeting, the shooting didn’t occur.
“Fields told him he’d lost his wallet. The drug dealer’s son didn’t like how it was going down, so he left and called Larissa (his mother),” the OSBI agent testified Holbrook told him.
“Larissa’s boyfriend, Jeff Pennington, Larissa, and her son returned to the scene.
“Larissa got out and sat in the Dodge Neon. Larissa produced the meth, 7.24 grams. She gave some meth to (Holbrook and Fields) to try.
“Holbrook said Larissa’s son came to the rear door and James Fields produced a pistol and pointed it at Larissa. Larissa’s son pulled her out of the car. Larissa’s boyfriend stepped out of the Jeep and shot James Fields,” the OSBI agent testified Holbrook told him.
“Bullets went through the rear passenger door. Holbrook was sitting in the vehicle, drove away and told Sarah to check his pulse. He threw out the revolver and took James Fields to the Stillwater Medical Center,” the OSBI agent testified Holbrook told him.
Singleton-Clark’s boyfriend, ex-convict Jeffrey Jordan Pennington, 42, of Stillwater, who allegedly shot Fields to death, was himself shot to death in Logan County on Memorial Day of 2016 – three weeks after he was released from the Payne County Jail on $100,000 bail after the murder count was dropped against him due to proof problems, the prosecutor said.
After a murder charge was dropped against her, Singleton-Clark pleaded guilty to conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine for which she was given a 12-year prison term in April, court records show.
Her son, Christopher Thomas Singleton, 22, of Stillwater, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiring with his mother and her boyfriend to deliver methamphetamine, had agreed to testify for the prosecution at the trial of Kelly and Holbrook.
Singleton was released from the state prison boot camp for young offenders to seven years’ probation in May – conditioned on his truthful testimony against Kelly and Holbrook, court records show. A felony murder charge had been dropped against Singleton a year ago due to proof problems, the prosecutor said.
If convicted of felony murder in the first-degree, Kelly could be sentenced to life in prison or life without parole. If convicted of conspiracy to commit armed robbery, Kelly could be given a 10-year prison term and a $5,000 fine, court records show.