Men charged in separate assault and manslaughter cases have court appearances

July 2, 2014

A formal arraignment has been set for a man charged with stealing a deputy’s vehicle, and another defendant pleaded not guilty to manslaughter.

A preliminary hearing was completed Tuesday for Spencer Lee Cavender, 33, Durant, who is charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, larceny of an automobile, endangering others while eluding and transferring bodily fluids onto a deputy sheriff.

Cavender was arrested in December after authorities said he stole a Bryan County Sheriff’s Office sport utility vehicle and attempted to run over Deputy John Haislip, who fired his gun at the SUV as it came toward him. The chase ended west of Calera after Cavender crashed the vehicle, according to the affidavit. He was treated for gun-shot wounds. He also is accused of spitting on Deputy Nathan Calloway.

Cavender’s formal arraignment was set Aug. 5.

In other court cases Tuesday, Kellis Glenn Barnett, 27, Colbert, pleaded not guilty to felony first-degree manslaughter. He is accused of leading a Colbert police officer on a chase that ended when his vehicle struck a tree and ejected Neil Allen Johnston, 31, who was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.

Court papers state Barnett was driving in a reckless manner.

Barnett’s next court date is the disposition docket on Aug. 11