Special prosecutor named for Muskogee County grand jury

Tuesday, March 15th 2005, 6:00 am
By: News On 6

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) -- A Muskogee County grand jury looking into an unsolved stabbing death will be led by a southern Oklahoma prosecutor.

State Attorney General Drew Edmondson appointed Robert -E- Christian to direct the panel that will consider the January 2004 slaying of 22-year-old Johnathon Scott Cannon.

Court records show Cannon -- the son of Wagoner County Sheriff Johnny Cannon -- was killed during a fight with at least one other man at a Muskogee home. Cannon's mother -- Pamela Stonebarger -- says Cannon suffered nine stab wounds.

Stonebarger led the petition drive gathering thousands of signatures to empanel the grand jury and had requested that Muskogee County District Attorney John David Luton not head up the investigation.

Luton previously opted not to file charges against Maurice Ballard, who allegedly stabbed Cannon. Investigators at the time said they think Ballard might have acted in self-defense.

Christian is the district attorney for Grady, Caddo, Jefferson and Stephens counties.