Yukon-area man gets deferred sentence for threat

Had faced 10 years in prison for threatening former boss

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John Howard Stafford

By Conrad Dudderar

Senior Staff Writer

EL RENO – A Yukon-area man has received a four-year deferred sentence after pleading guilty in court to threatening his former boss.

John Howard Stafford, 45, was sentenced Sept. 24 before Special Judge Khristan Strubhar in Canadian County District Court.

In a plea agreement, Stafford’s sentence was deferred four years on an amended felony charge of threatening to perform an act of violence. He had faced up to 10 years in prison for the threat when he was formally charged Feb. 11 with planning an act of violence.

Represented by attorney J. Patrick Quillian, the defendant has been placed on supervised probation by the Canadian County District Attorney’s Office. Judge Strubhar also ordered Stafford to pay a fine, victim’s compensation assessment and court costs.

The case stemmed from a Jan. 31 incident at Stafford’s home in the 10800 block of NW 36th Terrace.

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Oklahoma City Police investigated the incident after the victim – who owns a company where Stafford had been fired the previous day – and other employees began receiving threatening texts and emails from the defendant.

Stafford was belligerent and intoxicated when officers tried to speak with him about the comments, according to an arrest warrant affidavit. He reportedly threw a kitchen knife out the door and an alcoholic beverage in their direction while spouting expletives.

Police returned to Stafford’s house later that day after reports of shots fired, finding that he had come out to destroy the fence between his and a neighbor’s home.

Shortly before 8 p.m., Stafford reportedly started making 911 calls to the Yukon Police Department. Although his home has a Yukon address, it is in Oklahoma City limits.

In one of the 10 calls to 911, the arrest warrant affidavit shows Stafford claimed he was going to murder his former supervisor.