District Attorney Craig Ladd speaks out on Asst. District Attorney's resignation

ARDMORE, Okla. (KXII) -- Earlier this month Murray County Assistant District Attorney David Pyle offered 36-year-old Benjamin Petty a plea deal -- 15 years probation after Petty admitted to raping a 13-year-old girl at Falls Creek church camp in 2016.

Petty voluntary at the camp as a cook.

"Unfortunately because of double jeopardy, he's pled guilty, he's been sentenced and it's been done, it can't be undone," Ladd said. "The best I can do is to try to get somebody else in that position that I can trust to make better decisions."

Wednesday afternoon District Attorney Craig Ladd met with Pyle, leading to Pyle's resignation.

"If we don't part ways, it looks like I agree with what you have done and I think that this is a major blunder, so how do you want to end this and he (Pyle) said, 'I'll resign,' " Ladd said.

Ladd says with the 1,600 felonies in the district, he has to trust and rely on his assistants to make decisions on cases.

But he says, he always advises them to contact him on high profile ones -- something he says Pyle failed to do.

"I wasn't kept in the loop," Ladd said. "This was done without my authorization, without my knowledge and this is certainly the type of case I would expect that they would seek some input from me," Ladd said.

Pyle told us earlier this week the deal was approved by the family so that the girl would not have to keep testifying.

And partly because Petty was legally blind.

But the girls lawyer now says the family was not provided any other alternative and that she planned on testifying at trial.

They also stated that they were told by Pyle that Petty would not serve meaningful prison time due to his medical condition.

"I strongly disagree with the way that case was prosecuted," Ladd said. "I'm very troubled by the way the case was prosecuted which is why that Assistant DA no longer works with our office," Ladd said.

Ladd says Tim Burson will be taking over as the new Assistant District Attorney in Murray County beginning Monday.

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