By Conrad Dudderar
A newly convicted murder accomplice has been accused of hiding a weapon for another violent inmate at the Canadian County Jail.
Johnathon Reese Erickson, 30, was charged March 8 in Canadian County District Court with accessory to possess contraband in jail.
Fellow Canadian County inmate Bryan Leonard Snodgrass, 24, was charged the same day with bringing contraband into jail/penal institution.
The felony charges stem from a Feb. 14th incident at the Canadian County Jail, 304 N Evans.
Interestingly, Erickson pleaded guilty the next day to accessory to first-degree murder stemming from an October 2020 crime in southeast Canadian County.
District Judge Paul Hesse sentenced him to serve 10 years in state prison with two years of supervised probation in that case.
Assistant District Attorney Austin T. Murrey alleges Snodgrass possessed a “makeshift sharpened implement” about six inches long while being an inmate at the county jail.
The prosecutor alleges Erickson accepted possession of – and hid – the makeshift sharpened implement knowing that Snodgrass “had unlawfully possessed it, with intent to help him avoid detection or punishment for the crime.”
The charge of bringing contraband into a jail or penal institution is punishable by one to five years in state prison and/or a $100-$1,000 fine.
The charge of accessory to possess contraband in jail is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
Under Oklahoma law, it is illegal for an inmate to have contraband – specifically weapons, explosives, drugs, intoxicating beverage, low-point beer, and money – in a jail or prison.
Snodgrass, of Yukon, has been housed at the Canadian County Jail since June 2021 on felony charges of assault and battery on police officer (five counts), larceny of motor vehicle (two counts), possession of contraband (weapons) by an inmate, assault and battery (two counts), and second-degree burglary.
Erickson, of Midwest City, and Kristina Marie Franz were charged in October 2020, with first-degree murder in the death of Richard Pierce, 42.
The Canadian County District Attorney’s Office on Aug. 19, 2021, amended the charge against Erickson to accessory to first-degree murder. He had faced five to 45 years in prison.
In his signed guilty plea, Erickson admitted he had picked up “others from a location where a body was burned to conceal a crime.”
Prosecutors claimed Franz shot Pierce in the head with a handgun, killing him, while she and Erickson were committing an armed robbery.
First responders were called to a reported car fire about 9 a.m. Oct. 4, 2020, near S.W. 104th and Morgan Road.
After the fire was extinguished, a body was found inside burned beyond recognition. Oklahoma City police investigators determined Pierce was killed before the fire started.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office used dental records to identify the victim.
Erickson has other convictions in Canadian County for distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and in Oklahoma County for possession of stolen property, unlawful possession of a methamphetamine and domestic abuse.
First-degree murder and third-degree arson charges were pending against Franz when the Oklahoma City woman on March 5 had a drug overdose in her Canadian County Jail cell.
Franz, 29, died the next day at an Oklahoma City hospital.
Another inmate, Oklahoma City’s Cydnei Tysha Mitchell, 31, has been charged with first-degree murder and bringing contraband into jail for allegedly providing the drugs that caused Franz’s fatal overdose.