The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 12, 2013

Felony hit-and-run charge arraignment held for man

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — A man charged in connection with a hit-and-run accident that injured two people was arraigned Thursday in Garfield County District Court.

Cleveland Williams, 49, was charged last week with a felony count failure to stop at a non-fatal injury traffic accident.

He also was charged with misdemeanor counts of failure to give information and render aid, failure to provide immediate notice of accident to law enforcement and driving with revoked license, third or subsequent offense.

Williams faces up to 10 days to two years imprisonment and/or a fine of $50 to $500 on the felony charge.

He is being held in lieu of $20,000 bond and was ordered to return to court Oct. 23 for a bond appearance.

Jesse Presson, 20, and Samantha Kester, 17, were hit by a pickup as they walked near Cleveland and Oklahoma the night of Aug. 23.

Officer Kenyon Hughes learned at the scene the two were struck by a dark colored Dodge, possibly with a lawn mowing business sign on the side, according to an affidavit filed in the case.

A man who lives in the area told police he heard a scream and squealing tires. He said he then saw a 1990s model Dodge pickup speed past him westbound on Oklahoma. He described it as a dark-colored extended cab pickup with a decal on the driver’s side door and tailgate.

Hughes spoke with Kester at the hospital. She said she and Presson were walking east on Oklahoma when a dark-colored pickup turned left from Cleveland at a high rate of speed and hit them, according to the affidavit. She said the truck was green and had a decal on it, but she could not remember what it was, but said it was surrounded in white.

Hughes also spoke to Presson. He said he did not remember much, but said he saw the truck turn at a high rate of speed. He said he and Kester were hit and the truck left.

Kester suffered a broken wrist that required surgery, and Presson had suffered a laceration to his liver and kidney.

Hughes later spoke with Kaci Presson, who said she’d spoken to Robin Hughes, who was scared her brother, Jason Hughes, was involved in the hit-and-run accident, according to the affidavit.

Kaci Presson said Robin Hughes received a call from her brother, who said he was with Williams, who was driving, when they were involved in a hit-and-run accident. Robin said Jason told her he knew Jesse Presson was OK, but the girl Williams had hit was bad, according to the affidavit.

Kaci Presson said she’d been told Williams was at 1222 E. Oklahoma.

Officer Hughes went to the address and spoke with Jason Hughes.

He told the officer he was with Williams when the accident occurred, according to the affidavit.

Jason Hughes said he and Williams had been drinking and left to go to IHOP to get some food, according to the affidavit. He said Williams drove because he did not have a valid driver’s license.

Hughes said when Williams turned left onto Oklahoma, he hit two people. He said Williams backed up, then left the scene after he told him to stop numerous times, according to the affidavit.

Officer Hughes spoke with Williams, who was sleeping in a tent behind the residence.

When asked about the accident, Williams said he was asleep and never in the truck, the affidavit states. Officer Hughes asked Williams why Jason Hughes would say he was driving the truck and Williams said he did not know why, according to the affidavit.

Officer Hughes went outside to view the green Dodge pickup, noting an open beer can in the cup holder and another on the driver’s side floor board, according to the affidavit. He looked at the front of the vehicle and noted where the dirt had been removed near the passenger side of the truck.

The name Hughes Tree Service was on the door of the truck and the tailgate, and was surrounded by a white background.

Officer Hughes spoke with Williams again on Aug. 25.

Williams asked if he was in trouble or not, and Officer Hughes explained he was not in trouble yet. The officer again asked about the night of Aug. 23, and Williams said he was asleep at 7 p.m. and was never in the truck, according to the affidavit. Hughes asked if Williams would be willing to take a polygraph exam and Williams said, “No, I don’t want to put myself in that position,” according to the affidavit.

Officer Hughes spoke with Robin Hughes again Sept. 1.

She said after the wreck, Kaci Presson called her and said a witness at the scene saw a green Dodge truck with a tree-care sign. She said that matched the description of a vehicle that belongs to a relative of hers, according to the affidavit.

She said she called Jason Hughes and asked him if he hit two kids on Oklahoma and Cleveland and he stated, no Williams did, according to the affidavit.

She said Hughes handed Williams the phone, telling him to tell her he was driving. When Williams was on the phone he told Robin Hughes, “I don’t know what you’re talking about and I have been sleeping all night,” according to the affidavit

Robin Hughes said a few days later, she was able to record a conversation between her brother and Williams.

On the recording, Hughes tells Williams he knows he wasn’t driving. Williams said he knows, but police cannot prove he was the one driving, according to the affidavit

Williams is being held in lieu of $20,000 bond and was ordered to return to court Oct. 23 for a bond appearance.