405-778-4800
Criminal Attorney Oklahoma Defense Lawyer Adam R. Banner OKLAHOMA CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY AT LAW
This Attorney is Lead Counsel Rated. Click here for more Information.

Edmond Sex Offender Cites 'Starkey' in Failure to Register Arrest

25-Jul-2014

Edmond police responding to a public intoxication call discovered a transient sex offender living within 2000 feet of a school. Police say Shaun Anthony Head, 38, had failed to register as a sex offender and was staying at an apartment complex near Edmond Memorial High School in violation of sex offender residency requirements.

When an officer asked Head why he had not registered as required, the suspect responded that he no longer had to register as a result of the state Supreme Court's ruling in Starkey v. Oklahoma Department of Corrections.

Unfortunately for Head, although the Starkey decision will allow thousands of convicted sex offenders to come off of the Oklahoma Sex Offender Registry, the decision does not take full effect until the DOC has had time to review a list of more than 10,000 registrants who may be eligible for removal. Since the Supreme Court's order on June 25, 2013, the agency has whittled the list down to just under one thousand registrants remaining.

So what is the Starkey case that will allow some convicted sex offenders to be removed from the state sex offender registry?

In 2007, the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) was amended to require the Department of Corrections to assign each sex offender a numerical risk level. In Oklahoma, the risk level assessment is based strictly upon the offense for which the person was convicted, and it is meant to determine the individual's risk of re-offense and threat to public safety. Level 1 sex offenders, considered the lowest risk, must register for 15 years; Level 2 for 25 years; and Level 3 for life.

At issue in the Starkey case was the DOC's decision to apply risk level and registration length retroactively. James M. Starkey was convicted in 1998 in Texas for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl and was required to register as a sex offender for 10 years. He moved to Oklahoma shortly after his conviction, and was required to continue to register as a sex offender in Oklahoma.

However, in 2007, shortly before his sex offender registration was set to expire, Starkey was notified by the DOC that under the new law, he was designated as a Level 3 sex offender based on the Oklahoma equivalent of the crime for which he was convicted in Texas. As a Level 3 sex offender, he would be required to register for life.

Starkey challenged the constitutionality of the retroactive application of sex offender risk levels, saying they could not apply to registration requirements levied before their existence. Last summer, the Oklahoma Supreme Court agreed with Starkey, requiring the DOC to begin immediately reviewing sex offender registrants and removing those whose registration periods were retroactively extended by the 2007 SORA amendment.

Head was convicted of two counts of second degree rape in 2000 in Cleveland County. Since that time, he has been convicted of failure to register as a sex offender multiple times between 2009 and 2012, not including an outstanding warrant for failure to register in Florida. Whether or not Head will be eligible for removal from the sex offender registry when the review of registrants is complete, he was certainly not eligible for removal in his previous pre-Starkey cases.

If you or someone you love was convicted of a sex crime prior to 2007 and had sex offender registration requirements extended as a result of retroactive risk level assignment in 2007, contact an attorney to see if you should be removed from the registry in accordance with the Starkey decision.



All News

More News

Oklahoma Man Accused of Attempting to Kill Cousin, Then Hiring an Escort
26-Jun-2017

An Oklahoma man who allegedly tried to kill his cousin in an arson..

Supreme Court Ruling Says Trademark Law Barring Offensive Names Infringes on Free Speech
23-Jun-2017

You have likely never heard of Asian American rock band the Slants..

Teen Who Urged Boyfriend to Commit Suicide Convicted of Manslaughter
19-Jun-2017

In July 2014, 18-year-old Conrad Roy III attempted to take his own..

Supreme Court to Decide Whether Warrantless Cell Phone Location Search Violates Fourth Amendment
12-Jun-2017

The United States Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that cou..

Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Stabbing Death of Roommate
09-Jun-2017

A 72-year-old man is ordered to spend four years in prison after s..

Trial Delayed for Second Brother in Broken Arrow Quintuple Murder
29-May-2017

Shortly before midnight on July 22, 2015, police in Broken Arrow r..

Criminal Appeals Court Upholds Death Sentence for Triple-Murderer
26-May-2017

For the second time, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals has af..

Poorly written bill leaves lawsuit loophole; Governor signs anyway
22-May-2017

When drafting legislation, it is imperative that language is clear..

Not Guilty Verdict in Tulsa Police Shooting; Officer's Job Status under Evaluation
19-May-2017

After nine hours of deliberation, a jury returned a verdict o..

Man Exonerated in Rape Case Awarded Compensation
15-May-2017

An Oklahoma man who was exonerated of rape after spending 13 years..

×