By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Perkins man — on probation for passing forged checks in Payne County — has been jailed on $20,000 bail on a felony charge alleging he fraudulently obtained a Stillwater couple’s motorcycle, which they had posted on Facebook, with a $3,500 personal check on a closed bank account.
Justin Wayne Murray, 39, who was arrested last week, could be given a prison term of four years to life if convicted of fraud, due to his four prior felony convictions, court records show.
Murray had been put on seven years’ probation in January of 2018, with conditions including paying $15,250 total restitution at the rate of $200 per month for passing forged checks in 2017, court records show.
In Murray’s latest case, a Stillwater couple reported on July 1 that they had been given a bogus check by Murray after they put their 2008 Yamaha V Star on Facebook for sale on May 25, Payne County Sheriff’s Deputy Justin Henninger alleged in an affidavit filed with the felony charge last week.
The woman said “Justin test-drove the motorcycle and wished to purchase the motorcycle with a check. Justin wrote (her husband) a check for the motorcycle in the amount of $3,500,” from Payne County Bank in Perkins, the affidavit alleged.
She said “Justin did not have a way to get the motorcycle to his residence since he was driving a car, so (her husband) agreed to drive the motorcycle to Justin’s residence,” in the 4300 block of W. 104th in Perkins, the affidavit alleged.
Her husband provided the deputy with a digital copy of a handwritten bill of sale, the affidavit alleged.
Within the next few days, her husband went to his bank to cash the check they received, the affidavit alleged. “They received the money in full and told me it was because they already had that much money in their bank account,” but were called on May 30 by their bank that the check was written on a closed account, the deputy alleged in his affidavit.
The woman said “she got in contact with Justin and he told them he would bring over the cash that evening,” for the motorcycle, but did not show up, the affidavit alleged.
“She told me she contacted him for a week telling him to either bring them the money or bring them the bike back numerous times,” the deputy alleged in his affidavit.
“Justin then told (her) that someone had taken the motorcycle from him,” the affidavit alleged.
The woman said “she had gotten a letter from Pikepass Authority where the motorcycle was used on the Turner Turnpike on June 8,” at about 9:45 p.m. westbound in the Kellyville area, the affidavit alleged.
“I checked out local records and did not locate anything where Justin has reported the motorcycle stolen/missing,” the deputy wrote in his affidavit.
The couple still hold the title of the motorcycle, the affidavit said.
According to Payne County court records, Murray pleaded guilty in January of 2018 to passing a $7,000 forged check on April 24, 2017, to Jim Phillips Cars and Trucks in Cushing; a $2,000 forged check on July 31, 2017, to 33 Pawn in Perkins; a $5,500 forged check on Sept. 6, 2017, to Payne County Bank in Perkins; and an $18,897 forged check on Sept. 8, 2017, to Yamaha of Stillwater.
In addition to being charged in his latest case, Murray is alleged to have violated the rules of his probation by failing to obtain a substance abuse evaluation, by failing to provide documentation of attending mental health counseling and by failing to provide verification of completing community service hours, court records show.