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6/27/2013 8:34:00 PM
Bench warrant issued for man accused in Perkins theft
By Patti Weaver Journal Correspondent

A bench warrant has been issued for the arrest of an ex-convict who failed to appear in Payne County District Court on June 13 on a felony charge of stealing a license plate from a Perkins woman's car on Memorial Day.

Joe Lee Smith, 26, who previously lived in Perkins but now reportedly resides in Oklahoma City, has an extensive criminal record -- with felony convictions in Payne, Logan and Oklahoma counties.

In his latest case, a Perkins woman reported that her daughter told her Smith had stolen the license plate from her truck, Payne County Sheriff's Deputy Tom Edwards wrote in an affidavit.

Her daughter said that on Memorial Day, Smith came to her Perkins trailer and took the license plate from the vehicle she and her husband had sold to a friend, the affidavit alleged.

She said that Smith told her he was buying the truck from their friend "and wanted to use the plate for a couple of days on another vehicle," the affidavit alleged.

That petty larceny charge was fi led as a felony due to Smith's prior convictions, court records show.

In 2008, while Smith was in custody on a drug charge, he escaped on his way back to the Payne County Jail after appearing in court -- a misdemeanor for which he was given a one-year jail term, records show.

In that case, Payne County Sheriff's Deputy Mike Darty wrote that at 10:15 a.m. on July 10, 2008, he was on duty at the security station at the front doors of the courthouse when he heard a loud noise and saw that Smith "was running toward me from the entrance of the sheriff's office with two bondsmen after him.

"The defendant was ordered to stop; he did not and ran by Deputy Woods who had tried to stop him. I gave foot chase in the area, but lost sight of the defendant," who was later spotted fleeing north from the west alley of Main, Darty wrote in his affidavit.

"I found defendant hiding under a vehicle beside Boyer's Station at 6th and Main Street. Defendant again fled while I was ordering to stop. Defendant ran behind Boyer's station, fell and I deployed the Taser into the defendant to prevent his escape.

"Defendant was stunned, but then complied with orders and was arrested," Darty wrote in his affidavit.

In his 2008 drug case, Smith pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine in Stillwater, for which he was given a five-year prison term -- the balance of which was apparently suspended after he went into the Bill Johnson Drug Treatment program.

In another Perkins case, Smith was initially placed on probation for five years in 2007 for failing to return a woman's vehicle that she had given him permission to use -- for which he was ordered to pay $2,650 restitution.

Less than a year later, Smith was found in violation of his probation and given a concurrent five year prison term in 2008, court records show.

In another Perkins case, Smith was 18 when he was sent to prison boot camp for possession of Playstation games, nine DVDs, a sign and a MP3 player stolen from a Perkins man in 2004, court records show.

When he returned from prison boot camp in 2005, he was placed on five years' probation under a deferred sentence, which was changed two years later to a suspended sentence -- that was changed the following year to a concurrent five-year prison term.

In another Perkins case, Smith was 18 when he admitted furnishing whiskey to a 13-year-old Perkins girl in 2004, for which he was initially given a five-year deferred sentence, which was changed two years later to a suspended sentence - - that was changed the following year to a concurrent five-year prison term.

In addition to his Payne County cases, Smith was convicted in Logan County of possession four stolen tires and also a stolen vehicle, both in 2007.

In Oklahoma County, Smith was ordered into Drug Court in 2011 for unauthorized use of a vehicle and possessing stolen property, both in 2010, court records show. He apparently has not yet completed that Drug Court program.

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