PAWNEE — A Fairfax woman has been jailed on a second-degree murder charge in connection with an alleged drunk driving one-car collision four months ago on State Highway 15, northwest of Pawnee, that took the life of her 17-year-old passenger.
An extensive investigation by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol resulted in last week’s arrest of Sonya Kaye Cox, 46, who has been denied a reduction in her $100,000 bail by Pawnee County Associate District Judge Matthew Henry.
“Evidence observed at the scene and later by witness interviews concluded that Sonya Kaye Cox was the driver of a 1995 Nissan four-door car,” with a Texas license tag, an affidavit by OHP Trooper Donald Kraft alleged.
Technical investigators determined that Cox was traveling approximately 82 to 84 miles per hour “for the purpose of going over rolling hills at a fast speed, which would give a roller-coaster-ride effect,” Kraft’s affidavit alleged.
OHP troopers detected the presence of alcohol on the breath of Cox, who admitted that she had been drinking, the affidavit alleged.
When Cox lost control of the car, it went into a broad slide, ran off the road, overturned and ejected all six occupants, according to the affidavit.
Kerensa Keobouth, 17, who was seated in the middle of the back seat, died as a result of injuries sustained in the crash, the affidavit alleged.
The other occupants were Sierra Sky Higgins on the front passenger side, Sheyenne Higgins in the backseat passenger’s side, Mark Robinson in the backseat driver’s side, and Cesar Ojeda, the car owner, who was seated in the backseat middle, according to the affidavit.
OHP troopers were notified about 4:15 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, of a one-vehicle rollover accident in Pawnee County on State Highway 15, about four miles north and five miles west of Pawnee, the affidavit said.
Among the 34 witnesses listed on the murder charge by the prosecution are seven OHP troopers, 17 emergency responders, two tribal police officers from the Pawnee and Otoe-Missouri Nations, staff from the Stillwater Medical Center and St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa, and employees from the Payne County District Attorney’s Office, the Noble County Sheriff’s Office, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and the State Medical Examiner’s Office.
According to court records, Cox has a 2003 Pawnee County misdemeanor conviction for actual physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated, for which she received six months’ probation.
If convicted of second-degree murder by allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol when she collided with an embankment resulting in the death of her passenger, Cox could receive 10 years to life in prison, according to the charge filed by Pawnee County prosecutor David Robertson.