Tulsa Co. Deputies: 2 People Arrested For Murder After Man Dies Stealing Copper
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - Two people are now facing murder charges after a man was electrocuted over the weekend.
Investigators say the victim and another man were trying to steal copper wire from the KRMG radio tower near Mannford.
"There are warnings that tell you 'be advised', warning for electrocution, beware, don’t enter this area but obviously they didn’t pay attention to those warnings,” said Tulsa County Deputy Justin Green.
Tulsa County Sheriff's Office says a radio engineer got a notification yesterday morning saying there were technical problems at the transmitter site.
Related Story: 1 Electrocuted, 1 Shocked At Tulsa Radio Tower Site
So he went to their tower and found Albert Badger's body and saw Ely Amerson slowly moving around.
"He yelled at them and said ‘Hey what are you doing? Get away from there.’," said Deputy Green.
Deputy Green says the engineer noticed what happened and called 911. Amerson was taken to the hospital and is expected to be okay. Deputies later questioned Badger's girlfriend, Angie West, who drove the two men there late Saturday night.
“She apparently got tired and fell asleep, woke up the next morning and they had not returned back to the car,” said Deputy Green.
West told police the two men wanted to steal copper wire for a big payoff. West was taken into custody after police questioned her.
"They had gotten together made this plan and she assisted by driving to the site and waiting for them,” said Deputy Green. “But due to the fact that one of them was killed in commission of a felony, she was also arrested for murder in the first degree."
Deputy Green says Badger had an ankle monitor on when they found him.
Badger was arrested for stealing copper wire from PSO substations throughout Tulsa and Rogers Counties back in October of 2017 and was still on probation. Tulsa Police helped GRDA find and arrest him.
Badger was supposed to serve 7 years in prison but was on pre-release supervision from Rogers County.
“During this probationary period if he had committed another crime, he would have to go back and serve the full time for the previous crimes but in this case it turned out worse for him,” said Deputy Green.
Tulsa Police has done a lot in the City of Tulsa to prevent copper thefts and even helped get state laws changed so it’s harder to sell scrap metal. The department even has a special task force to deal with scrap metal thefts.
"Anytime you steal anything, it is wrong, but you run an additional risk when its anything involving electricity because if you don’t know what you’re doing it’s easy to hurt or kill yourself,” said Tulsa Police Corporal Craig Johnson.
Corporal Johnson says copper thefts are down compared to previous years, but it's still important to know that no amount of money is worth risking your life.
"At the most you’re going to get $2.00 to $2.50 a pound if you can recycle it and you get away with it and you don’t electrocute yourself,” said Corporal Johnson.
Amerson was transported to the hospital but is expected to be okay. When he is released, deputies say he will be booked into the Tulsa County Jail.