GUTHRIE — Following a Halloween incident in Guthrie, the Logan County Sheriff’s Office recommended that a charge be filed against the governor’s son for possessing alcohol as a minor, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by The Oklahoman.
On Monday, District Attorney Laura Thomas confirmed that she had received the affidavit but decided to offer the son and those with him a deferred prosecution program, which involves community service and other requirements in order to avoid a charge and criminal record.
Letters with the offer were sent out last week before media reports surfaced about the incident, Thomas said.
“Whether his last name was Stitt or Hofmeister doesn’t matter to me,” said Thomas, referring to Gov. Kevin Stitt and his Democratic challenger, Joy Hofmeister, whom he beat in a Nov. 8 election.
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On Oct. 31 sheriff’s deputies were called to a Guthrie haunted house attraction where John Drew Stitt, the governor’s 20-year-old son, reportedly was intoxicated and in possession of firearms.
First reported on Friday, the incident raised questions about why neither John Drew Stitt nor those with him were arrested or cited.
An officer with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, which provides security for the governor and his family, went to the scene and escorted Stitt’s party to Stillwater after ensuring that someone among them was able to drive.
Sheriff Damon Devereaux said no special treatment was given to Stitt, and he stood by his deputys’ actions.
“People are talking about this being swept under the rug, but we did a fully detailed report that day and submitted an affidavit to the District Attorney’s Office for charges,” Devereaux told The Oklahoman on Monday morning.
At the time of the interview, Devereaux said he wasn’t sure why the district attorney had not filed charges.
Later in the day, The Oklahoman told Devereaux about the deferred prosecution offer, which had just been reported.
“That doesn’t surprise me when there isn’t a prior record. That’s typical,” Devereaux said.
The Governor’s Office did not respond to a request for comment.
Deputies were responding to a call about “found firearms” in a haunted house parking lot when they found a box containing two rifles and two pistols, according to an incident report. Stitt told a sheriff’s deputy the box belonged to him and that one of the firearms belonged to his father.
He also acknowledged that he was intoxicated on alcohol, according to the report.
Stitt told deputies he had been riding in a black pickup, where alcohol and another gun were found.
“To be honest, my dad is the governor,” Stitt told the deputy, according to body camera video reviewed by The Oklahoman.
“I don’t care,” said Deputy Katlin Long, who responded to the call.
Long later called a supervisor and said Stitt originally had claimed he wasn’t drinking.
“I’m pretty upset right now. He was trying to say he wasn’t intoxicated, but I could tell from his pupils that he is really intoxicated. I could smell him, and he is slurring his words,” Long said, according to her body camera video.
Devereaux, the Logan County sheriff, told The Oklahoman he was proud of the way Long handled the call.
“She’s one of my best,” Devereaux said.
Long told Stitt to call his parents and ask them to come to retrieve the guns.
When Stitt got his mother on the phone, he said someone had removed the guns from his pickup.
“I’m with a deputy right now. Someone stole my gun case out of my truck while I was at a haunted house in Guthrie,” Stitt told his mother, according to body camera video.
Long, the responding deputy, was handed the phone and told Stitt’s mother she wanted her to come get the guns.
“Your son is intoxicated. Is there any way you can come pick up these firearms?” Long asked.
Stitt’s mother sent a member of her Oklahoma Highway Patrol security detail to retrieve the guns.
“She was like, ‘I’ll just send a trooper,’” Long told a colleague.
When the state trooper arrived, Long told him what was going on.
“His dad needs to know about that kind of (stuff),” the trooper said, according to the body camera video.
The trooper followed Stitt’s truck to Stillwater, where Stitt attends college at Oklahoma State University. The person allowed to drive the pickup had not been drinking, according to the incident report.
Later that evening, the Sheriff’s Office filed an affidavit with Logan County District Court that recommended charging Stitt with possession of an intoxicating beverage while under the age of 21.
Thomas, the Logan County district attorney, told The Oklahoman she had not yet heard back from Stitt or those with him on whether they would accept the deferred prosecution offer.
“I have not heard from any of these kids’ parents or their attorneys, but I imagine they are just now getting the letters,” Thomas said.