By Patti Weaver


  (Stillwater, Okla.) — At the request of the prosecution, child abuse charges were dropped last week against Kerstien Daniel McMurl, 35, who had been accused of choking a 13-year-old female relative on three occasions in Perkins in 2023, court records show.
    Assistant District Attorney Debra Vincent wrote in a motion to dismiss, “The alleged victim has been reunified with the family where the alleged abuse occurred. After consultation with a therapist arranged by her mother, the alleged victim has declined to speak further with the state regarding the resolution of this case.”
    McMurl “did not want to be interviewed,” Perkins Deputy Police Chief Kyle Howard wrote in an affidavit when the charge was filed last August.
    During interviews last year at the Saville Child Advocacy Center in Stillwater, the girl “disclosed choking among other things,” Howard alleged in an affidavit.
    “She was not able to breathe, and she said it hurt. She said she could not talk to say anything because she couldn’t breathe,” the affidavit alleged.
    A 4-year-old girl, who was also interviewed at the Saville Center, said, “Sometimes he punches her (the 13-year-old) in the face,” the affidavit alleged.
    The 4-year-old said that she would draw a picture of McMurl putting his hand around the 13-year-old’s neck, the affidavit alleged.
    “Due to the interviews, I knew Kerstein McMurl worked for the Iowa Tribe in some capacity as an environmentalist. I went to the Iowa Tribe where he worked and with the assistance from Iowa Tribe Police Department, Kerstein McMurl was arrested without incident and transported to the Payne County Jail,” Howard wrote in his affidavit.
    Court records show that McMurl was released on $20,000 bail last August.