The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

August 21, 2013

Jury gives Watonga man 30-year prison term for 1st-degree burglary

By Cass Rains, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

— A Blaine County jury found a Watonga man guilty of first-degree burglary following a two-day jury trial, and recommended he serve a 30-year prison term.

Horace Joe Bigmedicine, 37, was found guilty of the charge, filed after former conviction of two felonies.

Bigmedicine is set to be formally sentenced by District Judge Paul Woodward on Oct. 17, 2013, in Blaine County District Court.

Bigmedicine was convicted of invading the rural Blaine County home of Robyn and Leigh Sawyer last year.

The Sawyers’ 17-year-old son and his 1-year-old nephew were present in the house at the time of the break-in on Oct. 18, 2012.

District Attorney Mike Fields said he was pleased with the verdict.

“Our homes are our castles, and they’re places where all of us have a right to be safe and secure,” Fields said. “Burglarizing a home, especially a home with two children inside, is a very serious offense.”

Assistant District Attorney Barry Retherford, the prosecutor in the case, said Bigmedicine will be required to serve 85 percent of his sentence before he’s eligible to be considered for parole.

“Under state law, serious and habitual offenders such as Mr. Bigmedicine must serve at least 85 percent of their sentences,” Retherford said. “First-degree burglary is one of a handful of crimes that carry this 85-percent requirement.”