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Crime/Courts

April 11, 2013

Vehicular manslaughter jury trial begins

NORMAN — A jury trial involving manslaughter began Wednesday in Cleveland County District Court with opening statements and the first witness called to testify.

Mark Allen Peters, 54, of Noble, was charged with first-degree manslaughter, possession of controlled dangerous substance and obstructing an officer after a two-vehicle wreck Feb. 20, 2012, that led to a fatality.

Peters’ yellow Dodge Ram pickup was westbound on State Highway 9 when it struck a Toyota Sequoia heading eastbound on the highway. The driver of the Toyota was identified as Safari McDoulett, 36, of Oklahoma City.

McDoulett was the community relations director for Oklahoma County District 2. She was ejected from her vehicle, due to not wearing a seatbelt, when struck by Peters’ vehicle, according to the affidavit.

The wreck happened near the intersection of 120th Avenue and Highway 9.

Initial investigations found that McDoulett tried to avoid the collision but was unable to do so. The front driver’s side of Peters’ vehicle made contact with the front driver’s side of McDoulett’s. She suffered trauma to the head, torso and one of her legs, the affidavit stated.

When Peters was contacted at the scene at his vehicle by a Park Ranger and Norman police officer, the affidavit stated Peters “refused to comply with any verbal directions or commands” and “soon became physically aggressive with the officers,” resulting in his detainment.

In the affidavit, the officers described him as having the appearance of being highly intoxicated.

The observations included Peters having thick, slurred speech, difficulty staying awake, constricted pupils, dry mouth and general poor motor skills.

Peters told the officers he had consumed medication prior to the collision. When police searched Peters they found a prescription pill bottle in one of his pant pockets containing two types of pills.

The first type of pills were identified as the pills on the prescription label on the bottle, hydrocodone, and officers observed none of those pills were missing from the prescribed amount that was filled that day, the affidavit stated.

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