Two arrested in Midwest City slayings of Sapulpa police lieutenant, his cousin
MIDWEST CITY — About 36 hours after an off-duty Sapulpa police lieutenant and his cousin were found gunned down inside a Midwest City motel, two people were arrested about 100 miles away.
Jonathan Grafton, 22, and Daphne Mason, 21, were arrested about 10 a.m. Monday at a convenience store in northwest Enid, Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes said.
Lt. Trey Pritchard and Jeffrey Grafton had gunshot wounds to their heads, according to the arrest warrants. Both men were 46 years old.
Jeffrey Grafton was the father of Jonathan Grafton.
Pritchard’s pickup had not been properly parked outside the inn, and a hotel worker going door-to-door found the men unresponsive inside a room with the door ajar, Clabes said.
Investigators used surveillance cameras from the Travelers Inn, 6821 SE 29, to identify Jonathan Grafton as the man who rented the hotel room, which also contained some of Mason’s medications and clothing, according to the arrest warrant.
The men tracked to the motel a pickup belonging to Jeffrey Grafton, which had been taken by his son, Clabes said. Surveillance video shows Jeffrey Grafton went to the room first, and Pritchard followed him when he did not return.
Jonathan Grafton and Mason arrived at the inn about 10 a.m. Jeffrey Grafton and Pritchard arrived about 1 p.m., but their bodies were not found until later that day. No one called to report gunfire from the motel, Clabes said.
The inn manager, who did not identify himself by name when he answered the telephone, said before hanging up the phone that he gave his statements to the police.
The couple were picked up after someone reported them asleep outside the On Cue Express, 3904 W Willow in Enid.
Before their arrests, the couple had gone inside the store, purchased a few items and telephoned for a ride, assistant store manager Sonya Davis said.
“They asked if they could stay outside and wait for their ride. They were really nice, really polite kids. We had no clue they were wanted,” Davis said.
Davis said the parking lot flooded with vehicles between 10:30 a.m. and 10:45 a.m., and the two were arrested without incident.
Their ride, a municipal cab, was scheduled to arrive between 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., she said.
Police knew the suspects were in the area because one of them dropped a piece of identification Sunday inside the Walmart in Enid, Clabes said.
A Facebook page for Johnny Grafton shows he and Mason had been in a relationship since December.
“Murder is the only consistent answer to life’s problems,” a March 5 post reads.
Other posts, many profanity-laden, are song lyrics or film references, but one from November shows a troubled young man attempting to change.
“I haven’t felt this great in years. I’ve done a lot of bad things, I can barely remember the last five years and I hate it. It’s time for a change and I can’t wait to see what this sober life has in store for me. It’s me against the world and I’m not intimidated at all lol,” it reads.
Jonathan Grafton was charged with possession of synthetic marijuana and drug paraphernalia a week before the post, according to Creek County records.
He pleaded guilty to both counts in June and received a five-year deferred sentence. A third count relating to a license plate was dismissed, records show.
The relationship between Jonathan Grafton and Mason is a recurring Facebook topic. Each of them posted multiple updates expressing their love and gratitude for each other.
Jeffrey Grafton’s phone was recovered by a woman walking on westbound Interstate 40 near the Interstate 44 junction, according to the warrant.
The woman surrendered the phone to Midwest City police after speaking to Jeffrey Grafton’s family members, the warrant states.
Jeffrey Grafton’s pickup was abandoned near NW 36 and Sara Road in Yukon, according to the warrant.
‘He was a good friend’
Pritchard was a career law enforcement officer, having worked as a deputy for the Creek County sheriff about four years before being hired as a Sapulpa police officer in 1996, said Sapulpa police Lt. Jamie Noe, who is president of Sapulpa’s Fraternal Order of Police.
Pritchard, who taught safety and tactical training classes at the department, was promoted to lieutenant in 2011, Noe said.
A Sapulpa resident, Pritchard was married with five children and two grandchildren, Noe said.
“Lt. Pritchard’s death leaves a hole in this department that can never truly be refilled. He was a good friend,” Noe said.
Flags outside the department were lowered to half-staff Sunday and remained that way Monday in honor of Pritchard.
The suspects arrived about 5 p.m. Monday at the Midwest City Police Department to be interviewed by investigators before they were to be booked in lieu of bail into the Oklahoma County jail.