Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s son was found drunk by local lawmakers on Halloween last month after being alerted to a suitcase full of firearms in a parking lot at a nearby haunted house.
The guns came from the truck of 20-year-old John Andrew Stitt, who had been drinking that night and hunting earlier that day, said he broke into his vehicle at some point during the day. The Logan County District Attorney’s Office recommended indictments against the minor in possession of alcohol, and reports of the incident only recently surfaced on Nov. 19, days after the governor’s re-election.
The Logan County Sheriff’s Office received a barrage of angry calls and messages from residents claiming the department had granted the governor’s son a one-way pass. However, Logan County deputies said the governor’s son was actually treated more harshly than most people found in similar situations under the law, according to a local news outlet who asked the department after the incident to find out if he received preferential treatment.
“I know you’re being accused of treating him better because he’s the governor’s son. But did you treat him worse?” KOCO 5 reporter Evan Onstot asked Sheriff Damon Devereaux.
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“Underage possession was the only charge we had in this deal because he wasn’t carrying the guns. He didn’t use the guns. He didn’t drive. He caused no disturbance. So he couldn’t have been arrested for public intoxication,” Devereaux told affiliate ABC News. “And if you look at the bodycam footage when I saw it, he’s not drunk, you know, like we’re imagining, that a drunk stumbles, can’t walk, has to hold on to things. He may seem under the influence, but I don’t think he’s drunk.”
A member of the governor’s executive security, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol soldier, was dispatched to retrieve the guns. While the outlet noted that there had been “many questions” about the way Andrew Stitt was treated, a Sooner state statute allows the use of a security detail in the way it was carried out.
Bodycam footage shows an MP expressing frustration at how the situation unfolded on Halloween night, and Devereaux stands by his MP’s handling of the matter.
“My deputy has prepared a complete — as you know — full and detailed report on the incident,” Devereaux said. “We have bodycam footage of the incident. An affidavit was filed regarding the incident. Still, we are accused of covering it up because no one knows anything about it.”
Andrew Stitt claims in the bodycam footage that he was out hunting deer earlier in the day and at some point the gun case was stolen from his truck. There’s no proof of that claim, but Devereaux told the outlet he believes the case is open.
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When asked about the firearms and whether it’s illegal to leave them unlocked in a public place, even accidentally, the sheriff said, “It’s kind of inconsiderate,” but said, “I don’t know if it’s illegal.”
The sheriff said Sitt’s son was offered a deferred prosecution by the district attorney, which he says is standard procedure and would potentially require Andrew Stitt to do community service and alcohol training, along with a possible fine.