A homicide victim whose body was dumped at a creek has been positively identified and the suspect is expected to be charged today.
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation identified the victim as Steven Lee Sessums, 32. He was killed sometime Saturday morning and his body then dumped at Canella Creek east of Durant on Old Highway 70. A passerby saw the body early Monday evening and called police.
OSBI agents arrested Raymond Jay Stewart, 26, Durant, Monday afternoon after receiving additional information about the crime that morning. He is expected to be charged with first-degree murder.
“We should have the charges filed today,” said Bryan County District Attorney Emily Redman. “We were waiting on positive identification of the victim and also to notify the family, and we were able to do that yesterday.”
OSBI Spokesperson Jessica Brown said Sessums and Stewart, who did not know each other, met Friday night at a Durant bar and got into an altercation. She said they then met early Saturday morning at another location, where Stewart killed Sessums, then put his body in the creek area.
The medical examiner’s office ruled Sessums died from blunt trauma to his head and neck. Stewart was taken to the hospital after he was interviewed, then transported to the hospital to be treated for a broken finger. He was booked into jail, where he is being held on $2 million bond.
In other crime news, two men arrested Monday for suspicion of arson have been charged. Bradley Don Crowell, 37, Coalgate, and James Doyle Starlin, 24, Atoka, were charged Wednesday with first-degree arson, endangering others while eluding a police officer, conspiracy to commit a felony and possession of methamphetamine.
They are accused of pouring gasoline on a house on Indian Road off Sawmill Road, then setting it on fire while Tobie Airington and Dezaray Donelan were inside, according to court papers.
One of the men dumped the gasoline on the house and ignited it before fleeing the scene in a pickup, according to Sheriff’s Investigator Nathan Calloway, who said the occupants were able to put out the fire with a garden hose.
Caddo Police Officer Chris Orozco saw the pickup on Caddo Highway and began pursuit, which ended at Caddo Highway and Highway 22, court papers state.
Calloway said one of the men threw out a baggie of methamphetamine during the chase, which was later recovered by authorities because a motorist witnessed it and placed a marker beside it.
Matt Swearengin can be reached at 924-4388 or DDDEditor@Twitter.com.