By Mindy Ragan Wood, Staff Writer – A man accused of injecting a friend with heroin and then leaving him to die has been charged with first-degree murder and second-degree murder, Canadian County court records show.
Jeffrey Burton Harper, of Yukon, was charged Monday. The victim, identified as Brandon Schofield, of Oklahoma City, was found dead on Harper’s porch July 6.
Police responded to an emergency call at Harper’s home, 213 Paul Avenue, in Yukon.
The arrest warrant affidavit reads that Harper and Schofield had been shooting up heroin the night before. Harper admitted to investigators that he purchased the heroin “for himself and the victim” and provided two friends with the drugs, Caitlin Farris and her boyfriend
“Timmy Two Step,” the report reads.
Harper said he took a shot of heroin that was too strong for him and he had to sober up before he could go pick up Brandon Schofield. He said they drove to Walmart in Del City to purchase syringes and then returned to Harper’s home.
Harper said his friend had used “too much heroin” and insisted he had checked on the victim before leaving for work on July 6 and after his shift at 4:50 p.m. He said Schofield was “lightly responsive,” and “trying to get up” when he returned home.
Harper told investigators that he woke up at 9:30 a.m. and left for work at 10:15, but before he left found his friend “groggy and not wanting to wake up.” Harper said he dragged Schofield from the couch outside where he poured water on him because he couldn’t wake him up. He claimed that his friend did wake up and he told him he needed to get a ride home. He said Schofield told him he would get a ride.
Harper claims he asked his manager “Jordan” who is also Schofield’s roommate to go and check on him. Jordan replied that he couldn’t leave his shift, the report states.
When Harper returned home, Schofield was in the same position on the back porch. He then said he called Jordan to come and get him, but he refused and told him to call the police. Harper said he refused to call the police, but then took video of his friend lying on the porch and loaded it to SnapChat for six friends to view before he finally called for medical assistance.
However, Harper’s story changed when he was interviewed at the police station.
He told police that after he arrived at work and after Jordan refused to check on Schofield, that he returned one last time to check on his friend. Harper claims Schofield was asleep and that after slapping him, he woke up and said he would get a ride home. He then returned to work, completed his shift and came home around 4:50 p.m.
The report also states that Schofield had unexplained injuries, including abrasions to his face and on his body. A large wound on the back side of one leg showed the skin was pealed back similar to a burn injury.
The detective on the scene found Schofield was missing some clothing, but had a blanket and pillow near his body. A half empty bottle of water was also found nearby. Investigators reviewed the video Harper took.
“It appears the victim is in some type of distress, as he never got up, only grumbling and barely moving as the defendant is narrating during the making of the video. After medical personnel arrived and exhausted all life saving measures, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene and later taken to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s office,” the report reads.
Officers found marijuana, syringes, and a bent spoon with residue in the home.
The medical examiner listed the cause of death as heroin toxicity and hyperthermia.
“Investigators believe that Harper provided heroin to Schofield and then dragged Schofield outside while he went to work. Investigators believe that Schofield was left on the porch in the summer sun for well over six hours without shade, food or water,” a prepared statement reads.
Harper is seeking a public defender since he is unable to pay for a private attorney. He remains in the Canadian County Jail in lieu of bond.
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