The Norman Transcript

Local news

February 15, 2013

Murder suspect arraigned

NORMAN — A man charged with Norman’s only homicide in 2012 was entered into a formal plea of not guilty by the Cleveland County District Court during arraignment.

Dustin Dale Allen, 20, of Oklahoma City, was charged with first-degree murder in September after allegedly shooting Mary Ellen Benavidez, 57, in the chest on Sept. 13 in her Norman residence.

Police responded to the call Sept. 13 just before 4 a.m. at Benavidez’s home, 1210 Stubbeman Ave. Benavidez was transported to the hospital but was pronounced dead at 4:30 a.m.

According to the affidavit filed with Allen’s charge, Allen entered the home armed, searching for Benavidez’s son, Jason, who also resided at the home but was not there at the time of the incident. The affidavit stated that Allen was mad at Jason.

Detective Derek Hopkins, a Norman police officer who investigated the incident, testified during the arraignment Thursday. After Allen was apprehended, Hopkins took part in interviewing Allen, who admitted to breaking into the home and shooting Mary Ellen.

Hopkins said during the interview that Allen said he went to leave the residence when Mary Ellen had walked out and he “got startled or panicked” because “he was afraid she would say something or call the cops.”

The affidavit stated when Allen was confronted by Mary Ellen, he fired one shot at her chest as she was backing away from him. He said he believed she was scared, the affidavit stated.

After shooting the woman, Allen fled, taking off in his truck.

At that point in time, Jason had been walking back home when he heard the gunshot. Jason observed Allen fleeing from his yard and taking off in a truck. When he ran into the residence, he found his mother lying on the floor with a gunshot wound, according to the affidavit.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • 18-year-old killed; 72-year-old man, young boy injured

    Those involved in the wreck Friday near 136th Avenue and South Sooner Road were identified Monday by Oklahoma City police. Logan Rosado-Santoni, 18, was pronounced dead on the scene after the 4:30 p.m. multi-vehicle wreck. Two others were ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Norman firefighter performs Heimlich maneuver on Moore man after he chokes on food

    What started out as a normal night out for a Moore couple ended with them being thankful a firefighter was in the right place at the right time....

    July 22, 2014

  • New AP program to begin in Norman

    NORMAN — Norman Public Schools Board of Education learned about Advanced Placement Capstone at a regular board meeting Monday....

    July 22, 2014

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Crime briefs

    Woman charged with assault A Norman woman was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon Monday after admitting that she threw a knife at someone, court records show. Jamie Marie Rietz, 32, was charged in Cleveland County ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Jeremy Ryan Sellers, 20, second-degree burglary and malicious injury to property under $1,000 in concert and together with Ryan ...

    July 22, 2014

  • County want details of insurance coverage

    Cleveland County commissioners will formally request particulars on their insurance coverage from the Association of County Commissioners of Oklahoma Self Insurance Group....

    July 22, 2014

  • Stewart journeys from volunteer to director at Women’s Resource Center

    Kristy Stewart walked into the Women’s Resource Center as a volunteer 30 years ago. The volunteer work soon turned into a staff position, and that one into another and another and so on. Along with the new responsibilities came her ...

    July 21, 2014

  • garnervisit1 Family, friends recall Garner’s Norman roots

    Flowers started arriving at the James Garner statue at Main Street and Jones Avenue Sunday morning after residents learned of the famed actor and Norman native’s death Saturday night in California. Norman resident Roy Hamilton, who grew ...

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • James Garner James Garner dies at 86

    NEW YORK — Few actors could register disbelief, exasperation or annoyance with more comic subtlety....

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos