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Kevin Warrior

Other Tulsa County Oklahoma exonerations
On the evening of June 4, 2014, the body of 27-year-old Charles Dews was found fatally shot in the neck and the back of his head. The body was found in a field outside the home where he lived at 561 East Ute Street in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

The body was discovered by William “Chris” Dews, the victim’s first cousin. Chris told police that earlier in the day, Charles Dews told him that 23-year-old Kevin Warrior had threatened to kill Charles. Chris said when Charles failed to meet Chris at 11 p.m. that night as they had planned, he drove to the home and found him dead.

Eighty-one-year-old William Dews, a minister and the victim's biological grandfather as well as adopted father, also lived in the home. He told police he had returned home around 10 p.m. that night and Charles Dews was outside in his truck. William Dews said he asked Charles to come inside, but Charles said he had to go see a friend and left on foot. Pastor Dews said he went to sleep and had heard nothing until police woke him by knocking on his bedroom window.

While police were processing the crime scene, a paramedic noticed someone in the bushes to the east of the body. When that person, later identified as Chris McCain, fled, police chased him down and confiscated a revolver from him. Police subsequently eliminated him as a suspect, and firearm examination showed the gun was not the weapon that fired the bullets that killed Dews. No shell casings were found, suggesting that a revolver was the murder weapon.

Police found the victim’s cell phone in the truck. The last calls were to and from the same number, which was registered to a house occuipied by Warrior family, which was located less than a mile away.

Less than 24 hours later, Warrior was in custody on charges of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon.

In March 2016, Warrior went to trial in Tulsa County District Court. Witnesses testified that Charles Dews and Warrior were childhood friends who had reconnected while both were in prison on unrelated convictions. By the time Warrior had been paroled on his robbery conviction in April 2014, Charles was already out.

Among the chief prosecution witnesses were three women who lived together—Shamona Lopez, Candace Lucas, and Valencia Dews. Valencia Dews was a first cousin to Charles Dews. Each of the three women had a child living there as well.

Warrior started dating Lopez when he was released. Lucas and Charles Dews had a child who lived with Lucas, but their relationship was rocky. The witnesses testified that tension among them began to grow when Lucas flirted with Warrior in front of Charles Dews. Things grew worse when Lucas didn’t pay her share of a telephone bill.

One night, Charles Dews and Lucas got into an argument that woke the children. Lopez tried to kick Charles Dews out of the home, and he responded by pushing her. When Warrior found out about the shoving incident, he became upset and told Lucas that she had to move because “something bad” was going to happen to Charles Dews.

On June 1, Lucas prepared to pack up. When her mother, brother, sister, and a friend showed up to help, Lucas said Warrior got angry and called someone. He was heard to say that “they” were there, and he asked the person to whom he was speaking to bring him a gun. Later that day, Lucas told Charles Dews what happened, and she ultimately did not move out.

According to testimony, for the next few days, Warrior and Dews were on the phone to each other, threatening to kill each other. However, the witnesses also said that the threats seemed to be little more than two men talking “smack” to each other.

Valencia Dews said that she saw Warrior about that time pacing in the house carrying a revolver.

Chris Dews testified that on the day Charles was killed, Charles came to his home and they smoked marijuana together. Chris said that Charles told him that he and Warrior had “squashed” their “beef.”

But later that day, Chris said, Charles called him and said that in fact their feud was not over. Charles asked him to meet him at 11 p.m. that night.

That afternoon, Warrior was heard on the phone threatening to kill Charles. At one point, he asked Valencia Dews, “How would you feel if I killed your cousin?”

That evening, Warrior left the home at 9:30 p.m.

After the body was discovered, Chris Dews called Valencia with the news.

Valencia testified that she called Warrior and asked if he had committed the murder. She told the jury Warrior said he didn’t want to “talk about nothing over the phone.” She said Warrior came to the house around 12:30 a.m.

Lopez and Valencia testified that Warrior was nervous and seemed to have money he didn’t have earlier. At his request, they drove him to Coweta, Oklahoma. During the ride, according to their testimony, Warrior said they knew too much and that he could kill them both “right now.” They dropped him off and later that morning, Valencia spoke to Warrior again. She said he told her he “had to kill that beast.”

On March 11, 2016, the jury convicted Warrior of first-degree murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. In May 2016, he was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole for the murder conviction and a concurrent 10-year sentence for the firearms conviction.

While Warrior was still in the Tulsa County jail, he began talking to another prisoner, Marquez Goff, who had just been arrested on an unrelated charge. Goff mentioned that his co-defendant, Mikel Ball, had previously admitted to him that he had killed a man during a drug-related robbery two years earlier and that someone else was prosecuted for the crime. Eventually, Warrior determined that Ball was talking about the murder of Charles Dews.

Warrior notified his appellate lawyer, Michael Morehead, who discovered that Ball had been arrested on June 24, 2014—20 days after Dews was killed—and police had recovered a revolver. That gun was still in the possession of the Tulsa Police Department.

At Morehead’s request, firearm examination was done on the pistol and it was linked to the bullet that was removed from Charles Dews’s head.

On May 19, 2017, Morehead filed a motion for a new trial in the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. In September the appeals court remanded the case back to the Tulsa County District Court for a hearing.

Following a hearing, the case was sent back to the appeals court. In January 2018, the court vacated Warrior’s convictions and ordered a new trial.

Three months later, in March 2018, the prosecution filed new charges against Warrior and Ball, accusing them of working together to rob and kill Dews.

However, on October 18, 2019, with the trial of the case looming, the prosecution dismissed the charges against both men.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date: 11/25/2019
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Additional Convictions:Gun Possession or Sale
Reported Crime Date:2014
Age at the date of reported crime:23
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No