(Stillwater, Okla.) — District Attorney Tom Lee today filed court documents listing the basis for his seeking the death penalty for an ex-convict accused of the Dec. 1, 2011, fatal beating of 45-year-old Ava M. King of Cushing — whom he had met that night at a downtown Cushing bar.
In addition to the violent nature of the slaying, Benjamin Joel Andrew Littlesun, 23, of Cushing, possessed a homemade knife while an inmate in the Payne County Jail and “expressed his intentions to use it on jail staff in general and Detention Officer Ryan Clopton in particular,” the district attorney alleged.
“There is additional evidence detailing the defendant’s participation in other unrelated crimes showing his violent criminal behavior in that this defendant has admitted he used a knife to stab an individual in the chest and stomach area in Pawnee County, Oklahoma,” Lee alleged.
Littlesun has been held without bail in the Payne County Jail since his arrest on Dec. 2, 2011, the day the victim’s body was found in a Cushing alley. Littlesun has been ordered to stand trial on a first-degree murder charge on which he is due to be arraigned Friday before District Judge Phillip Corley.
In listing aggravating circumstances for which a jury could return the death penalty, the district attorney alleged the evidence would show that Littlesun “punched the victim in the face.
“Once she fell onto the ground, he stomped her around her head, face and chest area 20 to 25 times.”
Littlesun allegedly “left the victim lying in a pool of her own blood, naked from the waist down and struggling to breathe,” the district attorney listed as one of the aggravated circumstances warranting the death penalty.
“Evidence is that the victim was breathing when the defendant left her in an alley and that he noticed that her breathing was labored and knew he had seriously injured the victim.
“Evidence is that after eight to 12 hours of lying in an alley unable to move, the victim was still alive and when the first officer arrived at the scene,” the district attorney alleged.
The district attorney alleged that there is a probability that Littlesun would commit acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society.
The district attorney alleged that Littlesun’s actions “during the crime show his callousness and total disregard for human life,” and that after the slaying, Littlesun’s actions show no remorse.
“The defendant’s actions show a pattern of escalating criminal activity and general disregard for the laws and rules of society,” the district attorney alleged.
About three and one-half months before Littlesun was charged in the Cushing slaying, he pleaded guilty to placing a body fluid on a government employee while he was a prisoner in Lincoln County, court records show.
For that 2011 crime, Littlesun was given a two-year sentence, all of which was suspended except 30 days in jail, as part of a plea bargain in which he also pleaded guilty to public intoxication, court records show.
Two years before the Cushing slaying, Littlesun was charged in Creek County with bringing contraband into the jail, which was dismissed since he was already in state prison, court records show.
Littlesun had been out of prison for 15 months when he was charged in the Cushing woman’s slaying, state Department of Corrections records show.
He had served less than nine months for possession of a stolen vehicle in Drumright in 2008 and possession of a stolen vehicle in Payne County in 2009, DOC records show.
In documents seeking the death penalty for Littlesun, the Payne County district attorney listed 52 witnesses — including nine employees of the state crime bureau, 14 employees of the Cushing Police Department, a physician with the State Medical Examiner’s Office, a physician with the hospital in Cushing and three employees of the Payne County Jail.
After the slain woman’s body was found, later that day Littlesun was spotted walking in front of the Wilshire Inn by Cushing Police Officer Matthew Piatt, who arrested him on an outstanding Creek County warrant, according to preliminary hearing testimony.