By Ashli Sims, The News On 6
BRISTOW, OK -- A former Creek County investigator, Ed Willingham, Junior, is heading to prison for child molestation. The long-time lawman pleaded guilty on Thursday to indecent exposure and lewd molestation.
The victim's family says the sight of Ed Willingham, Junior, in his orange prison jumpsuit, finally admitting to his crimes, was overwhelming. It's a far cry from the man who was once the lead investigator for the Creek County Sheriff's Office.
Willingham's downward spiral started almost two years ago when allegations of child molestation first surfaced.
In July of 2007, he was accused of being addicted to prescription drugs, threatening his wife and molesting a 10-year-old neighbor girl. His wife filed a protective order against him which he violated twice in a matter of days.
Willingham was arrested and immediately posted bail, but found himself out of a job.
Almost three months later, Willingham was charged with molestation and indecent exposure. That same night his house went up in flames. Police officers believe it was arson, although no one was ever charged with the crime.
Nine months later, Willingham made headlines again. He was arrested for sitting in his car, intoxicated, with a gun.
Just before Thanksgiving last year, drugs and guns got Willingham in trouble again.
"They found him in possession of two firearms, one of which he was holding to his head, stating he was going to commit suicide and wrestled the gun away from him," said Sapulpa Police Major Jeff Gilliland.
Willingham had crashed his SUV and appeared intoxicated.
Willingham was back in court just last month, and almost got off without serving any prison time. The district attorney brought in to try the case offered Willingham a deal, which let him off with time served. But, the judge refused to accept the bargain.
Willingham's guilty plea means he will spend three years in prison and the next 12 years on probation. He will have to register as a sex offender.