Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

October 5, 2010

Weekend manhunt ends in Stratford

Pauls Valley, Oklahoma — A fugitive manhunt involving five different law enforcement agencies over the weekend landed right here in Garvin County before it ended with multiple arrests at a Stratford residence.

All the different deputies and officers finally got their man Sunday afternoon as they arrested Jim Tom DeArman, 35, of Wynnewood as he slept in a trailer in the 800 block of South Maple in Stratford.

DeArman was being sought on three warrants issued for his arrest in neighboring Pontotoc County with two of them drug related.

After reportedly escaping from bounty hunters there a search brought together deputies from three counties, including Garvin County, Stratford police officers and state troopers.

Shortly after DeArman was arrested without incident two other individuals were taken into custody after undisclosed amounts of illegal drugs were found inside the trailer where the manhunt ended.

Garvin County Deputy Dean Phillips said Monday he was contacted and asked to help with search for DeArman the previous day.

Phillips, a trooper and Stratford officer were the ones who entered the trailer where they found and arrested DeArman.

The act was not as easy as it sounds as Phillips said the officers involved in the search had earlier been talking about the possibility that DeArman might be armed and dangerous after he was believed to have made a vow not to return to prison.

For that reason Phillips said the entry into the trailer was considered a very dangerous proposition and not taken lightly by anyone involved.

“I was expecting him to have a gun. I was expecting the worst and praying for the best,” Phillips said.

“We went in through the door and he didn’t know what was going on because he was asleep. He was wore out. He’d been on the run for a while and his arms were all scratched up from running through some really thick briars,” he said.

The concern about DeArman also came from the report he broke into a McClain County residence during the manhunt and stole a high powered rifle.

Although the fugitive claimed to leave the rifle out in the woods, he later admitted to breaking in a trailer next door in Stratford and leaving the weapon there. Officials did report finding 19 rounds of ammunition on DeArman when he was arrested.

After DeArman was taken away and transported back to Pontotoc County, officers arrested the owner of the trailer, Calton Biggs, 48, and his girlfriend, Gina Willoughby, 43, after some marijuana, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were found inside as a search of the residence was conducted.

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