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Fri, Jan. 24

Accused assailant from Arkansas changes plea

An Arkansas man has pleaded guilty to reduced charges in the assault of a Kingman couple and arson of their home.

Claude Bryan Oakley pleaded guilty in Mohave County Superior Court on Wednesday to arson of an occupied structure, aggravated assault and aggravated assault on a police officer, all felonies.

Oakley had been charged with two counts of sexual assault, first-degree burglary, two counts of aggravated assault, three counts of aggravated assault on a police officer, arson of an occupied structure and resisting arrest, all felonies.

Under the plea agreement, Judge Richard Weiss could sentence Oakley to prison for up to 10 years for the arson charge and three and half years for the aggravated assault to be served concurrently.

Weiss could also sentence him to up to five years in prison for the aggravated assault on a police officer.

That sentence could be served concurrently or consecutively with the other two charges.

The most Oakley would be behind bars is 15 years.

Weiss is expected to sentence Oakley Nov.

25 following an aggravating/mitigating hearing.

Prosecutors agreed to reduce the charges from dangerous to non-dangerous charges, which reduces the sentence.

Oakley met the woman on the Internet and moved to this area from Pine Bluff, Ark., several days before he broke into her house on Casey Plaza on May 14 and set the home on fire, according to police.

Angry that the woman had rekindled her relationship with her husband, Oakley stabbed the woman and assaulted her husband, who was not injured.

The woman fled down the street for help.

She was taken to Kingman Regional Medical Center with stab wounds to the hand.

Kingman police officers and Mohave County sheriff's deputies discovered Oakley nearby wielding a knife and threatening local firefighters.

Officers subdued him with non-lethal pepperball and beanbag rounds before tackling him.

Oakley had yelled at officers to shoot him, according to police reports.

Oakley, 36, had been accused of sexually assaulting the woman several days before his arrest.

Six years ago, he was sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison in Arkansas for an incident in 1995 when he stabbed his estranged wife and her older son and held his infant son hostage before his arrest.

In that case, he was convicted of attempted first-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, two counts of terrorist threatening, two counts of kidnapping, residential burglary and false imprisonment of the infant son.

Oakley was paroled last year after serving about five years in prison, placed under supervision and ordered not to leave Arkansas.

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