A Roff man pleaded guilty Tuesday in a Pontotoc County Court and two more await trial for a March cattle rustling caper that could have totaled more than $10,000 in damages. The three men were charged with stealing 15 head of cattle from an isolated pasture northwest of Roff and attempting to sell them locally.

The suspects allegedly used the cattle owners own stock trailer to transport the animals to the Southern Oklahoma Livestock sale barn where they were later recovered by the Pontotoc County Sheriff's Department and returned home. The cattle owner told Ada Evening News last March the livestock would have brought more than $10,000 at sale. Chief Deputy Justin Priest was credited with leading the investigation that identified the three suspects and located the animals.

After having waived his right to a preliminary hearing in July, 22-year-old David Michael Eason, Roff, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of larceny of domestic animal, conspiracy to commit a felony, and attempting to obtain money by false pretense.

Eason's two cohorts 26-year-old Jerome Don Courtney and 21-year-old James Euell Morgan, Jr., both of Roff, are charged with the same offenses and appeared before the court earlier this month as their trial draws near.

Eason is scheduled for formal sentencing Feb. 13, 2006. Each of the counts to which Eason pleaded guilty carries a possible 10 year prison sentence and/or up to $5000 in fines. The state's recommendation is a sentence of 10 years with all but three suspended.

The three were released on their own recognizance in March while awaiting criminal proceedings.

In October, Morgan's attorney filed a motion to sever, to hold separate trials for criminal defendants who were charged with the same crime, which was recently granted by District Judge Thomas Landrith.

Morgan and Courtney's trial is expected to be scheduled in early 2006.

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