By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — An ex-convict from Drumright, who fled into the woods after crashing a truck into a deputy’s patrol car, has pleaded guilty to stealing the truck as well as an 18-foot utility trailer with a large amount of landscaping equipment, running two roadblocks while eluding an officer, leaving a personal injury accident scene, driving on a suspended license, and possessing methamphetamine — all without an agreement with the prosecution regarding his sentence.
Due to his extensive criminal record, David Lee Higgins Jr., 41, could receive multiple life prison terms at his April 6 sentencing by Payne County Associate District Judge Stephen Kistler, who ordered a background investigation of Higgins when he accepted his guilty pleas last week.
“I overheard Higgins tell the detention staff he used methamphetamine 20 minutes prior to stealing the truck,” Stillwater Police Officer Jimmy Knox wrote in an affidavit.
The Stillwater officer had been sent at 5:09 pm on April 19, 2020, to Walmart on W. 6th Avenue regarding “a gray 2013 Toyota Tundra pulling an 18-foot lawn trailer loaded with an orange riding mower and several lawn equipment items, totaling more than $9,000 (that) was just stolen,” according to his affidavit.
“Throughout the pursuit, the truck traveled at high speeds reaching 80 mph in 35 and 45 mph zones… He did not stop for the stop sign and turned back east on Hwy. 51 back into Stillwater,” the affidavit said.
After the truck ran a roadblock at 56th and Western and then another one at 68th and Brush Creek, “As we got to 92nd, the driver tried to turn westbound onto 92nd and struck a Payne County Sheriff’s Office’s patrol unit — causing the truck to slide off the road.
“The driver fled on foot in the woods running southwest from the truck. Deputy Sloan ran after the suspect. Sgt. Hansen and I followed. We ran approximately 300 yards into the woods and found Deputy Sloan on top of the suspect trying to get his hands. Sgt. Hansen and I assisted Deputy Sloan getting the suspect in handcuffs. Sgt. Hansen and I escorted the suspect back to Brush Creek where Officer Rudluff, Officer Gulick and another deputy were waiting,” at 5:52 pm, Officer Knox wrote in his affidavit.
Methamphetamine was found in Higgins’ jeans pocket with a used syringe, the affidavit said. “Higgins began acting faint and a Lifenet was called to check him out,” after which Higgins was taken to Stillwater Medical Center where he was cleared to be transported to the Stillwater Detention Center, the affidavit said.
According to court records, in November of 2020, Higgins was given four concurrent prison terms of about 19 years after his suspended sentences were revoked by Judge Kistler for violating his probation in four felony cases.
Higgins had been released from prison on Nov. 6, 2019, after previously being convicted of:
* possessing a stolen vehicle in Drumright in Creek County in 2018, for which he was given a five-year prison term concurrent to his Cushing stolen vehicle case listed below, with the balance suspended on his completion of a Drug Offender Work Camp that he apparently finished in 11 months;
* possessing a stolen vehicle in Cushing in Payne County that was taken from a Drumright oil company in 2018, for which he was ordered to pay $1,500 restitution and serve a concurrent 20-year prison term, with the balance suspended on his completion of a Drug Offender Work Camp;
* assault and battery on a Payne County sheriff’s deputy and an Oklahoma Highway Patrol trooper in Payne County in 2018, for which he was ordered to pay $8,364 restitution and serve a concurrent 20-year prison term, with the balance suspended on his completion of a Drug Offender Work Camp;
* second-degree burglary of a Ripley convenience store in Payne County in 2018, for which he was ordered to pay $4,731 restitution and serve a concurrent 20-year prison term, with the balance suspended on his completion of a Drug Offender Work Camp;
* auto theft in Payne County in 2018, for which he was ordered to pay $1,198 restitution and serve a concurrent 20-year prison term, with the balance suspended on his completion of a Drug Offender Work Camp;
* domestic assault and battery in Drumright in Creek County in 2016, for which he was placed on three years’ probation;
* assault with a dangerous weapon in Tulsa County in 2014, for which he was given a three-year prison term of which he served 13 months.