The Payne County District Attorney’s office dismissed the charges against two Stillwater residents accused of murder in Cushing.
Troy Wayne Shadowen Jr., 23, and Bridgett Nicole Barton, 29, have both had their charges dismissed against them at the cost of the state.
On the morning of Feb. 17, the Cushing Police Department received a 911 call regarding a trailer on fire. The trailer was in the 200 block of north Wade Avenue in Cushing.
The trailer belonged to Patrick McGuire, 40, who was deceased at the time of the fire.
Laura Austin Thomas released a press release concerning the dismissal of charges.
“The State received the full OSBI investigation about 2 weeks ago. In addition the State has spoken with the key witness in the investigation. That witness has now given no less than 3 inconsistent statements,” Thomas said.
Due to the code of ethics the state prosecutors are bound by, Thomas said they cannot and will not put a witness on the stand who is being untruthful.
“At this time the State does not possess any firm evidence which will corroborate any of the statements made by this witness to reach the required burden of proof of beyond a reasonable doubt,” Thomas said.
Due to the state not having sufficient evidence, they have decided to re-file the charges at a later time. If the state would have gone through with the preliminary hearing, they risked not being able to re-file at a later date.
“Further, other potential witnesses that have some degree of evidentiary value are reluctant to stay the course and others are highly impeachable due to issues with their credibility,” Thomas said.
Both suspects are still in custody on unrelated charges.
“Currently the defendant,Shadowen, is in prison as the State was able to succeed in revoking his probation on other charges. Another defendant, Barton, is also facing incarceration on unrelated matters and remains in jail,” Thomas said.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating and hopes to bring answers to the family.