Murder suspect surrenders after eight-hour standoff

By: Emi FitzGerald Email
By: Emi FitzGerald Email

FROGVILLE, Okla. -- A man who police say killed his girlfriend Monday morning is now behind bars. Authorities say the suspect wasn't going down easily, and that led to a bizarre standoff.

Choctaw County Sheriff Lewis Collins says with the help of negotiators and a family member, murder suspect Charles Lennox surrendered peacefully after holing up for eight hours in a tree while a family is mourning the loss of a young mother.

On a lonely stretch of road in Frogville, Oklahoma, a family and community is grieving.

Authorities say Marquita Cherry was suffocated early Monday morning by her boyfriend and the father of her four children.

"When he arrived at the scene, the man had run about a 100 yards west of the house. He was in a tree about 30 feet off the ground with a rope around his neck threatening suicide."

Choctaw County Sheriff Lewis Collins says Charles Lennox has a history of abuse. Two weeks ago he was arrested for domestic battery, and cherry placed a protective order against him.

But Lewis says Cherry dropped the charges.

Hours after the murder Monday afternoon, sheriff's deputies and OSBI tried to negotiate with Lennox. Even out of state relatives tried to get him to come down.

"We called his brother in independence, Missouri and he flew directly to Hugo and came down and Charles Lennox surrendered at about 3:20 this afternoon after about eight hours."

Authorities questioned Lennox, who is in custody in connection with cherry's death.

Sheriff Collins says while an eight hour standoff in a tree is not common, it was the result of a crime that occurs far too often.

"Violence in homes is rampant. Women that are threatened, when they issue a protective order, need to follow it through."

Sheriff's officials plan to formally charge Lennox with murder Tuesday morning.


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