By Conrad Dudderar
EL RENO – A Canadian County murder accomplice has pleaded guilty and been convicted for hiding a weapon for another inmate at the county jail.
Johnathon Reese Erickson, 30, was found guilty April 26 of the felony offense of accessory to possess contraband in jail. He already was headed to state prison after his recent conviction as an accessory in an October 2020 murder case.
Erickson was charged March 8 for accepting possession of – and hiding – a six-inch-long “makeshift sharpened implement” at the Canadian County Jail for fellow prisoner Bryan Leonard Snodgrass, 24.
Represented by attorney J.P. Hill, Erickson appeared by a video from the jail for an April 26th hearing in Canadian County District Court.
District Judge Paul Hesse accepted Erickson’s guilty plea. Pursuant to a plea agreement, Hesse sentenced Erickson to serve five years in state Department of Corrections’ custody – all suspended.
Under Oklahoma law, it is illegal for an inmate to have weapons, explosives, drugs, intoxicating beverage, low-point beer, or money in a jail or prison.
Judge Hesse ordered Erickson’s five-year suspended sentence to run consecutively to his sentence in the Canadian County murder case.
On Feb. 15, Judge Hesse sentenced Erickson to serve 10 years in state prison with two years of supervised probation after he pleaded guilty to accessory to felony murder.
Erickson, of Midwest City, and Kristina Marie Franz, of Oklahoma City, 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.”
Erickson was booked May 3 at the Lexington Correctional Center to serve his sentence.
Erickson has previous convictions in Canadian County for distribution of a controlled dangerous substance and in Oklahoma County for possession of stolen property, unlawful possession of methamphetamine and domestic abuse.
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 homicide victim.
Canadian County prosecutors alleged Franz shot Pierce in the head with a handgun, killing him, while she and Erickson were committing an armed robbery.
First-degree murder and third-degree arson charges were pending against Franz when she had a drug overdose March 5 in her Canadian County Jail cell.
Franz, 29, died the next day at an Oklahoma City hospital.