CANTON, Okla. — Two people, including the Canton Police Department chief, have been charged with misdemeanors in connection to an August incident where a .22 caliber gun was found at Canton Elementary School.
Chief Robert Martin Murray and his girlfriend, Shana Nadine Dighton, were charged in Blaine County District Court last week. Murray, 46, was charged with a misdemeanor count of obstructing an officer, and Dighton, 31, was charged with possession of a weapon on school property.
According to online court records, the charges were filed Sept. 11. Murray is free on $1,000 bond and Dighton is free on $500. Both have initial appearances set for Sept. 24. Murray faces up to a year in prison and/or a fine of up to $500, or both. Dighton faces up to a $250 fine.
Blaine County Sheriff's Office is investigating why Canton Police Department failed to file a report concerning a loaded handgun found at Canton Elementary School.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, on Aug. 27, 2019, Blaine County Sheriff's Office Undersheriff David Robertson received information about a gun being found at Canton Elementary School.
Robertson spoke with Murray. Murray said a gun had been found at the school, and the school said it belonged to a teacher's aide, who was fired, according to the affidavit. Robertson asked who the aide was, and Murray said he did not know. Murray told Robertson the school did not want a report because they had handled the situation.
Robertson asked Murray if he had done a report and Murray said he did not because the school did not want a report done, according to the affidavit.
About 2 p.m., Robertson drove to Canton and met with Superintendent Daniel Ingram, according to the affidavit. Ingram said a teacher found a small gun in the teacher's restroom, turned it over to the principal and Canton police were called.
Ingram said he assumed they would investigate the incident, according to the affidavit. Ingram told Robertson the gun belonged to Dighton, who was engaged to the Canton police chief.
Robertson told Ingram what Murray said about the school not wanting a report, and Ingram said he believed the police would conduct an investigation, according to the affidavit. Ingram contacted the principal and teacher who found the gun and asked them to speak with Robertson.
Cathryn Smith, who found the gun, told Robertson she used the teacher's restroom and noticed what she believed was a toy gun next to the trashcan, according to the affidavit. She said she gave the gun to Principal Dora Fuqua. Smith said Fuqua told her it was a real gun and the two attempted to unload it.
Smith said she did not know how to unload the gun and when they saw Dighton, she stated she owned a gun like it and knew how to unload it, according to the affidavit. Smith said Fuqua contacted police to retrieve the gun.
Fuqua told Robertson that Smith found the gun in the restroom and gave it to her, according to the affidavit. Fuqua also said Dighton unloaded the gun, and she then called police. Fuqua said a younger officer came to pick up the gun.
Fuqua said later that evening Dighton called and wanted to meet with her, according to the affidavit. She said she met with Dighton and Dighton told her the gun found in the restroom was hers. Dighton said she forgot the gun was in her pants pocket and did not know it had fallen out.
Fuqua said Dighton resigned her position at the school, according to the affidavit.
Robertson drove to Canton Town Hall and spoke with Officer Billy Kammerzel, according to the affidavit. Kammerzel said he got a call from Murray telling him to go to the school to pick up something.
Kammerzel told Robertson he did not know it was a gun until he got to the school, according to the affidavit. He said he recovered the gun and placed it into an evidence bag. Kammerzel said when he got to the police department he gave the gun to Murray and was told it would be handled.
Kammerzel said he did not generate a report or get statements from anyone at the school, according to the affidavit.
Robertson drove to Dighton's residence and spoke with her, according to the affidavit. Dighton said the gun found at the school was hers and she forgot it was in her pants pocket. She said it must have fallen out after she used the restroom.
Robertson asked Dighton if she had the gun, and Dighton said she did have it, according to the affidavit. Dighton went into the house and then gave Robertson a white evidence bag containing a .22 caliber revolver.
Robertson asked Dighton if the police chief had given her the gun, according to the affidavit. Dight said yes and she also said the police chief lives at the residence with her.