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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 01/04/2007
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
OBNDD SPOKESMAN MARK WOODWARD
(405) 521-2885 OR (800) 522-8031




SUSPECT IN DRUG AGENTS' DEATH RULED INCOMPETENT

A judge has ruled the defendant accused of killing an Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics agent over a year ago in Woodward is currently not competent to stand trial. On Thursday morning, a Woodward judge signed an order stating Leslie Vance would be unable to assist in his on defense. Mark Woodward, Spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics says this doesn?t mean Vance won't eventually be put on trial in the death of Agent Choc Ericsson.

"Vance has been placed in the joint custody of the Department of Human Services and the Department of Mental Health. Vance will undergo periodic competency evaluations, so at some point in the future Vance could be ruled competent and charges would then be filed in Choc?s death."

----Mark Woodward, OBN Spokesman

Assigned to the OBN Woodward District Office, Agent Ericsson performed a traffic stop on Vance November 11, 2005, after Vance followed Ericsson's family home from the store and nearly forced them off the road. Shortly after the traffic stop, Vance became combative and tried to drive off, dragging Agent Ericsson across the road and running him over. Ericsson suffered massive head trama and died a week later. Ericsson managed to shoot Vance one time as he tried to flee the scene, leaving Vance paralyzed from the chest down. Because of his injuries, the judge has ruled Vance is not competent to assist in his own defense. At the time of the incident Vance was on probation for a methamphetamine manufacturing conviction, and toxicology reports show Vance had both meth and marijuana in his system.

"We all believe Choc was a hero that night. Witnesses say Vance had been using meth for several days prior to this incident. Meth often produces violent, paranoid behavior. Choc not only protected his family, but everyone else in Vance?s path that night."

----Mark Woodward, OBN Spokesman

A hearing is scheduled for Monday, January 8, 2007 at 11:00 in Woodward to determine appropriate placement for Vance.