Oklahoma murders up 35% in new OSBI report

Posted at 10:34 PM, May 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-06 23:34:57-04

A mother remembers her daughter, as the state reveals alarming numbers on crime.

Murder rates are soaring in Oklahoma. OSBI releasing new numbers, showing a 35 percent increase from 2014 to 2015.

“She was a very kind girl she always helped people.”

In a memorial garden, blossoming flowers remind Brandy Whitmire of her 18-year-old daughter.

Last year, Noelle New was killed by a truck while walking in Verdigris. Brothers Gage and Dakota Shriver are both facing 2nd degree murder charges for her death.

Police say they were arguing in a truck when they hit New and her friend, fleeing the scene.

“They don't think about the consequences for their road rage,” Whitmire said. “If they do think about it, they don't think about getting caught.”

New's death is one of an estimated 240 murders reported last year. OSBI says that number is up 35 percent from the year before.

“I don't think there's one answer to explain all of that,” Sheriff Scott Walton said.

OSBI isn't speculating the cause, but Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton puts some of the blame on gangs and drugs.

“What we find is the thugs and criminals move around a lot more,” Walton said. “The drug trade brings with it that occasional homicide.”

Mass killings also play a factor. The Bever family murders account for five deaths and the OSU homecoming crash, four.

“I think homicides are a crime very hard to eliminate.”

Walton says increased policing only helps a little. He says most murders are impossible to predict.

Just like last June, when Brandy's life was changed forever. In just a month, she'll revisit that painful day.

“I'm still avoiding the calendar, dreading that day,” Whitmire said.

OBSI will release their full crime report later this month.