Judge issues bench warrant for alleged Yukon retail robber

Felon Bartee fails to appear for court hearing; co-defendant Zorn in prison

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Matthew Ryan Bartee

By Conrad Dudderar
Staff Writer

EL RENO – A Canadian County judge has issued a bench warrant for a felon who failed to appear for a court hearing in a Yukon robbery case.

Midwest City’s Matthew Ryan Bartee, 28, and Oklahoma City’s Nathaniel Hunter Zorn, 23, were charged March 16 in Canadian County District Court with first-degree robbery and conspiracy.

The felony charges stem from a December 2021 incident at Lowe’s Home Improvement, 1605 Garth Brooks Blvd. Yukon Police investigated the crimes.

Bartee and Zorn are accused of conspiring to steal $1,990 worth of merchandise from the Lowe’s retail store.

The two defendants took five, 250-foot rolls of electrical wiring as one of them threatened to shoot an employee “thereby putting her in fear of immediate serious bodily injury,” according to court documents.

Bartee, a convicted felon, was due to appear Dec. 2 at a preliminary hearing conference before Canadian County Special Judge Charles Gass.

After Bartee failed to show, Judge Gass issued the bench warrant for his arrest and set bond at $40,000.

First-degree robbery is punishable by not less than 10 years in prison.

Conspiracy is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a maximum $5,000 fine.

Meanwhile, Zorn is now in state prison after being convicted on felony robbery, burglary and weapons charges in Oklahoma County District Court.

Allegations against Bartee and Zorn are detailed in an arrest warrant affidavit signed by Yukon Police Det. Dave Carroll.

Police learned Bartee had gone to the electrical aisle at the Yukon Lowe’s and placed the rolls of electrical wire in a cart, which he left at the end of the aisle.

His alleged accomplice, Zorn, then left the store with the cart and didn’t attempt to pay for the merchandise.

While Zorn was walking out, a Lowe’s employee approached and asked to see a receipt.

He then “threatened to shoot the employee and left,” according to the court affidavit.

The alleged victim told investigators she had asked the suspect for a receipt, but he told her to her to “move away” or he would shoot her.

She reportedly identified Zorn as the suspect who made the threat.

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WAIT, THERE’S MUCH MORE …

During their investigation, Yukon Police learned Bartee and Zorn had stolen from other Lowe’s stores in Oklahoma City.

The two men had been charged in January 2022 with conjoint robbery – and Zorn was charged with first-degree robbery – in Oklahoma County.

In June, they were convicted after pleading guilty in that case.

Bartee received a 15-year suspended sentence and was ordered to be supervised by the state Department of Corrections.

He has previous felony convictions for possession of controlled dangerous substances, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a stolen vehicle, felon in possession of a firearm, altering license plate/registration, and possession of stolen property.

Bartee’s lengthy criminal record includes pending felony drug possession and trafficking charges in Cleveland and Coal counties.

Nathaniel Hunter Zorn

Zorn was sentenced to eight years in prison with four years suspended in the Oklahoma County robbery case.

That sentence runs concurrently with convictions for second-degree burglary and discharging firearm into dwelling. Zorn also was convicted of a misdemeanor, unlawful possession of controlled dangerous substance (methamphetamine).

Zorn is now housed at the Lawton Correctional Facility with the felony robbery and conspiracy charges still pending in Canadian County.

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