Homicide victim identified

Nathan Thompson and Robert Smith
Lakenvian Terron Jernigan

A Bartlesville man who pleaded guilty to his part in a January drive-by shooting has been found dead in rural Osage County.

The medical examiner’s office identified the victim as Lakenvian Terron Jernigan, 19, a spokesperson with the Bartlesville Police Department confirmed Friday morning. Bartlesville police have been assisting the Osage County Sheriff’s Office in the death investigation.

According to a press release from the Osage County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, deputies received a phone call from a landowner Wednesday, to the effect a body had been found near State Highway 123 and County Road 2300. The victim, now identified as Jernigan, died from an apparent gunshot wound.

The Osage County Sheriff’s Office said Jernigan’s death was suspicious in nature. The agency has been working with the Bartlesville Police Department on the investigation.

Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden said in a telephone conversation Labor Day morning that he believed multiple suspects would be implicated in the case. He indicated it was likely that further information would be released Tuesday.

Osage County Chief Deputy Loren Vaughn confirmed there would likely be multiple suspects.

Though details were not immediately available during the holiday Monday, it is known that Jernigan had been involved in a reported Jan. 19 drive-by shooting in Bartlesville.

He pleaded guilty Aug. 2 in Washington County District Court to reduced charge of accessory to felony use of a vehicle in discharge of a weapon for his role in the drive-by shooting in the 1600 block of SW Oklahoma Street in Bartlesville.

In that case, police said they made contact with the victim, who said he knew Jernigan and Armini Jay Walton were involved in the shooting. According to the probable cause affidavit, the victim’s daughter “showed police a Snapchat video of [Jernigan] waiving a gun around and talking about shooting people up who are unaware of what is about to happen to them.”

According to the probable cause affidavit, the video was supposedly taken immediately prior to the occurrence of a drive-by shooting. A vehicle matching the description of the one involved in the shooting was located in the 1600 block of W. Sixth Street. Police radioed there were four people inside the vehicle, and were going to make contact with them when three of the four occupants ran from the vehicle, according to the probable cause statement. Jernigan, Walton and a juvenile entered a home. Another juvenile reportedly remained in the vehicle.

The police ordered the three suspects to exit the house, and eventually all four subjects were transported to the Bartlesville Police Department, where they were interviewed.

Police said Jernigan identified Walton as the shooter. Jernigan reportedly said, “he was in the vehicle, and he was aware of what was going to happen during the ride in the car,” according to the probable cause affidavit.

Police conducted a search of the vehicle, after obtaining a search warrant, and located a 9 mm pistol in the floorboard of the front passenger seat.

After his guilty plea on Aug. 2, Jernigan waived trial and was to be sentenced to an eight-year suspended sentence, with six months to serve in the Washington County Detention Center.

Charges against one of the juveniles were dismissed and the other juvenile’s public court file is no longer available. All suspects except Jernigan were juveniles at the time of the drive-by shooting, but were initially charged as youthful offenders — making the arrests and court charges public record.

Walton faces a Sept. 9 jury trial on charges of use of a vehicle in discharge of a weapon and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.