Hefty bonds for soldiers in Okla. home invasion

AP News
Posted: Sep 28, 2011 8:32 PM
Hefty bonds for soldiers in Okla. home invasion

Four soldiers from an Oklahoma Army post were being held Wednesday on charges connected with a home invasion last week in which four people were shot and wounded.

Court records released Wednesday show that Pfc. Kevon McLaren, 22, was being held on $2 million bond, while Pvt. Richard Daly, 24, and Pfc. Claude Byrd II, 27, were being held on $1 million bond.

All three Fort Sill-based soldiers broke into an apartment on Sept. 20, Comanche County prosecutors contend in charging documents. The alleged getaway driver, 20-year-old Pfc. Jared Berman, was charged with being an accessory to a crime and was held on $45,000 bond.

Daly, Byrd and McLaren were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree robbery, three counts of first-degree robbery, and five counts of kidnapping. McLaren, who witnesses alleged in a probable cause affidavit was the shooter, also was charged with shooting with intent to kill and first-degree burglary.

The four were in jail Wednesday, and online court records did not list attorneys for any of them.

According to affidavits filed in the case, McLaren shot the four adult victims and he, Daly and Byrd stole computers, DVDs, clothing and other items from the apartment in Lawton, which is about 80 miles southwest of Oklahoma City and is where the post is located.

Assistant District Attorney Eddie Valdez said he had just been assigned to the case and couldn't provide additional details.

According to the affidavit, three of the victims told authorities they recognized Daly as one of the assailants.

One of the victims, Corey Sanders, declined to comment on Wednesday. Telephone listings for three others were disconnected and two were unavailable.

Fort Sill commander Maj. Gen. David Halverson said in a statement Tuesday that post officials are cooperating with the investigation.

"This was an isolated incident, well outside the norm in terms of the way our soldiers behave off-duty, and especially in Lawton, where our various unit relationships and community support initiatives have showcased our soldiers as good neighbors," Halverson said.

The four soldiers are assigned to the 75th Fires Brigade, which Fort Sill spokesman Keith Pannell described as a field and air defense artillery unit.