Murray County Assistant DA Resigns Amid Controversial Plea Deal - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |


Murray County Assistant DA Resigns Amid Controversial Plea Deal

Posted: Updated:

The Murray County prosecutor who gave an admitted child rapist probation last month, resigned Wednesday.

"We feel betrayed, I believe," Sulphur resident Bobby McKinney said. "No child molester should be out on the streets."

The outrage seems universal in Sulphur, CBS affiliate KXII reports.

"I do feel like the 15 years of probation is too light," Another resident, McKayla Arrington, said. "Even though it is 15 years, what happened was wrong, and blind or not, you shouldn't just get 15 years."

Benjamin Petty admitted he tied up and raped a 13-year-old at Falls Creek Church camp in 2016. Prosecutor David Pyle gave him probation in exchange for a guilty plea.

Pyle's boss, District Attorney Craig Ladd, declined our request for an on camera interview, but said he disagreed with the "lenient manner" in which the case was prosecuted. After meeting with Ladd on Wednesday, Pyle resigned.

"I don't think anybody in our community is very happy about him making a deal, and not serving any time." McKinney said.

1/30/2018 Related Story: Oklahoma Man Who Pleaded Guilty To Raping 13-Year-Old Gets Probation

On more than one occasion, Pyle even denied KXII access to public records pertaining to violent crimes in Murray County, records that are easily available in other counties. In each case, Pyle would cite concern for the victims as his reasoning for denial; even when explained our station's policy is to not identify victims of sexual assaults.

Meanwhile, the girl's family has filed a civil suit, claiming Petty "groomed" the girl for three days like a "textbook" pedophile and eventually pulled the 13-year-old girl into his room, tied her up and raped her.

Pyle said one factor in the plea deal was that Petty is legally blind, and he also wanted to spare the out-of-state victim the hassle of having to testify.

Bruce Robertson, attorney for the victim and her family in the civil lawsuit, said the family was willing to travel to appear in court, and were never provided "any other alternative" to the plea deal to which the family eventually consented.

“Contrary to statements made by the Murray County Assistant District Attorney, David Pyle, our client and her family never expressed reservations about traveling to Oklahoma for the criminal case against Benjamin Petty," Robertson said in a statement to News 12.

"In fact, our client traveled to Oklahoma and was present in the courthouse on April 10, 2017, for the preliminary hearing and anticipated testifying at trial. Further, the family consented to the plea agreement based on the representation by Mr. Pyle that Petty would not serve meaningful time in prison due to his medical conditions. The family was not provided any other alternative.”

Ladd says he can't review every plea deal his prosecutors make, but he "would have greatly preferred to" review this one.

"It's frustrating," McKinney said. "He (Pyle) should have to be there to answer for the decisions he made for our town."

Ladd said Assistant District Attorney Tim Burson will be assigned to cover Murray County beginning Monday.

Story from

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.


Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103 is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.