McCauley set for formal arraignment

Robert Smith

The prosecution of Dakoda Aaron McCauley, 24, of Barnsdall, in the May 9, 2018, stabbing death of Frankie Cotto moved ahead last week, as he was bound over for Osage County District Court arraignment following a two-day preliminary hearing before Special Judge John Thomas Briggs.

McCauley’s arraignment is set for 10 a.m. April 16 before Associate District Judge Stuart Tate. Prosecutors have charged McCauley with second-degree murder or, in the alternative, first-degree manslaughter. The incident from which the charges arose took place at McCauley’s home back in 2018.

The defendant reportedly told investigators that he stabbed Cotto in self-defense, but Sheriff Eddie Virden said further investigation of the case led to McCauley’s arrest.

McCauley’s preliminary hearing had been scheduled for Nov. 5, but it was delayed over an objection by the defense. The preliminary hearing was rescheduled for Feb. 11-13, 2019, but again delayed despite a defense objection. Osage County went through a transition from one district attorney to another in early 2019, following elections in 2018.