3 Suspects charged in fatal shooting

Robert Smith and Nathan Thompson Pawhuska

Osage County prosecutors have formally charged three young Bartlesville men in connection with a fatal shooting early Aug. 27 in a field next to a rural county road.

There is a fourth suspect, according to the Osage County Sheriff’s Office. Case paperwork filed in court says the fourth suspect is an as-yet unnamed juvenile.

The suspects who have been publicly charged are identified as Anthony Bernard Pruitt, 18; Augustus Bernard Pruitt Jr., 19; and Keshawn Isaiah Evitt, 19.

Anthony Pruitt is charged with first-degree murder - deliberate intent. Augustus Pruitt Jr. and Keshawn Evitt are charged with accessory to murder.

The victim has been identified as Lakenvian Jernigan, 19, of Bartlesville.

A case affidavit says Anthony Pruitt is alleged to have shot Jernigan at least six times in a field off Osage County Road 2003, east of Highway 123, with a 9 mm handgun and left him to die.

The affidavit further says Anthony Pruitt sent messages to Jernigan that lured him into a vehicle with the co-conspirators, and that Anthony Pruitt was the driver of the vehicle.

Augustus Pruitt and Keshawn Evitt allegedly assisted in transporting the murder weapon away from the scene of the killing and concealing it. Evitt then allegedly fled the area to attempt to escape prosecution.

Augustus Pruitt Jr. was arrested and jailed in Osage County. He pleaded not guilty in an initial hearing in Osage County District Court, and Special Judge John Thomas Briggs set his bail at $500,000.

Anthony Pruitt was arrested in Washington County after the Bartlesville Police Special Operations Team served a search warrant on a residence. Pruitt was arrested and is facing a felony charge in Washington County District Court of being in possession of a firearm after delinquent adjudication. This is in addition to the first-degree murder charge in Osage County.

Jernigan and Anthony Pruitt were two of four suspects in a Jan. 19 drive-by shooting in Bartlesville. Jernigan had just pleaded guilty Aug. 2 in Washington County District Court to a reduced charge of accessory to felony use of a vehicle in discharge of a weapon.

Another suspect in the drive-by shooting, Armani Jay Walton, was scheduled for a jury trial at 9 a.m. Monday of this week on charges of use of a vehicle in discharge of a weapon and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Washington County District Court records showed Jernigan was scheduled to testify in Walton’s trial. However, Jernigan’s subpoena was not able to be served prior to his death.