By Tom Blakey

Transcript Staff Writer

A Cleveland County district court jury deliberated about three and a half hours Wednesday before returning a “not guilty” verdict for a Lexington man.

Forest Rainey Holmes Jr., 50, was charged with first-degree burglary and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon.

Holmes was accused of kicking in the front door of a residence in east Cleveland County last March 11 and beating the resident with a BB gun rifle, a radio and a hose.

The jury was seated Monday and began hearing testimony Tuesday in the courtroom of District Judge Lori Walkley. Holmes was represented by defense attorney Chris Hammons.

Walkley has scheduled a civil trial to begin today, with prospective jurors impaneled for an auto negligence lawsuit. Lynn Do is the plaintiff and Lauren Allison Shelton the defendant.

With weather conditions worsening, District Judge Tom Lucas recessed the jury trial of Rickey Fowler early Wednesday afternoon. It is scheduled to resume at 10 a.m. today.

Fowler, 45, of Moore, is charged with the unlawful distribution of pseudoephedrine with reckless disregard for how it was going to be used.

Wednesday, attorneys cross-examined Michelle Sanders, a diversion investigator for the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Sanders conducted a pre-registration investigation of Fowler, the owner of Rick’s Picks LLC, a distributorship in Moore.

Fowler is accused of selling more than 10 million tablets of pseudoephedrine — the main ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine — over a two-year period, to convenience stores, bait shops, smoke shops and head shops throughout Oklahoma — with reckless disregard for its use.

The charge resulted from a joint investigation of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration into the supply of pseudoephedrine tablets for the manufacture of meth, Sanders testified.

Oklahoma law does not specify what amount of pills constitutes a “threshold amount,” officials said.

Fowler is represented by defense attorney Michael Parks of McAlester. Assistant District Attorney Michael Tupper is prosecuting the case.

A jury trial is scheduled to resume this morning in District Judge Bill Hetherington’s courtroom.

Richard Everett Billetter, 39, is charged with forcible oral sodomy; lewd acts with a child; and two counts of exhibiting obscene photos to a minor.

Tom Blakey

366-3540

tblakey@normantranscript.com

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