The Norman Transcript

June 5, 2014

Crime briefs

The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — First-degree murder trial under way

Five witnesses took the stand Wednesday for a first-degree murder trial under way in Cleveland County District Court.

Eddie James Thompson, 35, is on trial for first-degree murder, first-degree burglary and two counts of kidnapping in concert with Loretta Hawks, 35, and Sebastian Shepherd, 19, of Oklahoma City.

The three were charged for the death of Arthur Strozewski, 47, who was killed in his Oklahoma City home, 9305 Winston Way, around 3:30 a.m. in August 2012. Strozewski suffered more than 20 stab wounds during the incident, according to court records.

The two men allegedly broke into Strozewski’s home, restrained him and his son, who was 14 at the time, with duct tape and stabbed Strozewski multiple times. Strozewski’s daughter, who was 16 at the time, also was in the home during the incident, according to affidavits filed.

Records indicate that Hawks drove the men to Strozewski’s home that night because the two men did not know where Strozewski lived. She admitted to Oklahoma City Police Department homicide detectives that she had been living with Strozewski but denied any involvement in his murder, the affidavit said.

The daughter told police she saw a suspect with long hair on top of her father and a second suspect in her brother’s room searching his closet. The son described the man who placed duct tape around his face as a male, possibly Hispanic, who had a thin build and was probably around 20 years old, the affidavit said.

The two children testified in court Wednesday, as well as three police officers who responded to the incident nearly two years ago. Police had later located Thompson with K-9 and helicopter units after he fled from the home and took him into custody.

Testimony is scheduled to continue today in Judge Thad Balkman’s courtroom at the Cleveland County Courthouse. Hawks was scheduled for a jury trial June 2 with Balkman. Oklahoma State Courts Network records do not indicate whether Shepherd has a trial scheduled.

Two acres scorched in Norman

Norman firefighters responded to a grass fire at 3:30 p.m. to 48th Avenue Northwest and Franklin Road on Wednesday caused by an overheated rear axle on a fertilizing truck.

Crews found the fire in a field north of the intersection. It took about an hour to extinguish approximately two acres of fire that extended into a corn field. No injuries were reported.

Four fire stations from Norman responded, as well as Norman Police Department, EMSStat paramedics and mutual aid from the Moore Fire Department.

— Transcript Staff

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