Oklahoma Officials in Hot Water: Alleged Murder Plot and Racist Remarks Rock McCurtain County

Reynold Aquino

Three officials in McCurtain County, southeast Oklahoma, are facing allegations of conspiring to kill a local journalist and making racially insensitive remarks, according to an explosive report published by the McCurtain Gazette-News. The accused individuals include Sheriff Kevin Clardy, investigator Alicia Manning, and District 2 Commissioner Mark Jennings.

The newspaper claims to have obtained an audio recording of the officials' conversation after a county Board of Commissioners meeting on March 6. Both the FBI and the Oklahoma Attorney General's Office reportedly have copies of the recording as well. While portions of the audio have been released online, The Oklahoman could not confirm the identities of the speakers.

Chris Willingham, the targeted reporter and author of the article, declined to comment on the matter due to ongoing litigation between himself and the sheriff's office. Willingham had filed a defamation lawsuit against the sheriff's office, Manning, and the Board of County Commissioners on the same day the recording was allegedly made.

The Gazette's report alleges that Manning expressed concern about a potential encounter with Willingham outside the newspaper's office, with Jennings then discussing his knowledge of hitmen in Louisiana and two deep holes in the area. Sheriff Clardy is accused of mentioning his possession of an excavator during the conversation.

The recording also contains a disturbing discussion about assaulting local judges, followed by racially charged remarks by Jennings, who lamented the fact that Black people could no longer be hung from trees. Sheriff Clardy reportedly responded to this statement by acknowledging that times have changed.

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Hi there! My name is Reynold Aquino and I am a passionate writer and traveler. I have always had a love for the written word and enjoy expressing myself through writing. In my free time, you can find me either planning my next adventure or trying out new restaurants and cuisines. I believe that life is meant to be lived to the fullest and I try to make the most of every moment. Whether I am exploring a new city or penning a new story, I am always seeking new experiences and challenges. I hope to inspire others to follow their passions and seek out new adventures, just like I do.


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