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False declaration of ownership leads to warrant

January 28, 2013

When an inmate in Pushmataha County jail found out that her Dell Laptop had been pawned, an arrest warrant was issued.

Police Chief Dwayne Morgan received a call from the Pushmataha County Jail and the jailer told him that Amber Kirkley was currently incarcerated in the jail due to a violation in drug court and was picked up on November 19, 2012. Kirkley had found out that Bobby Ray Merritt had pawned her laptop computer at Duncan’s Pawn Shop and she wanted to file charges against Merritt.

Chief Morgan then advised the County that Kirkley would need to write a statement and that he would have an officer pick it up. Officer Wyatt Williams of the Antlers Police Department retrieved the statement to Morgan. Morgan then contacted Duncan’s Pawn Shop to see if Merritt had pawned a laptop and they confirmed it.

The Pawn shop was advised to hold the computer.

On January 2, 2013, Chief Morgan picked up the pawn ticket and noticed the serial number they had on the ticket didn’t match the number on the box. This matter was checked into and a mistake had been made. It was confirmed that it was indeed the correct laptop and Merritt had pawned it.

Later that day, Chief Morgan had Kirkley in his office to write a statement that she was wanting to file charges against Merritt for using her pickup and cell phone, without her permission. Kirkley said in the statement that her pickup was to be parked at Mike Sutterfield's home until she gets through with her rehab. She also stated that he was told several times to take it to her sisters home and he would not do it.

Chief Morgan spoke with Merritt on the phone and told him that he needed to return the pickup because his name was not on the title or the insurance policy. Merritt has no ties to the vehicle.

A warrant was issued for Merritt’s arrest on January 14, 2013 for Unauthorized use of a vehicle (felony), False declaration of ownership in pawn (felony) and Petit larceny (misdemeanor). His bond was set in the amount of $10,000. As a condition of the bond, Merritt is to have no contact with Kirkley.

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