DA investigator arrested

By Johnny O’Mara, Crime Editor    
Friday, 27 July 2007
A Creek County District Attorney’s Investigator has been arrested on complaints of violating a protective order that was issued by the Creek County District Court after it received a petition from the investigator’s wife in which she claims the investigator threatened to kill her and hide her body in a concrete slab or put her corpse through a wood chipper.

Ed Willingham, 38, was arrested Thursday after what officials say is a second report of him violating the protective order.

Following his arrest, Creek County District Attorney Max Cook issued a statement indicating that he had terminated Willingham’s employment, effective immediately.

Cook told reporters that he had been initially reluctant to discuss the matter but that Willingham’s arrest caused him to feel the need to take swift action.
The protective order petition was filed on the heels of a devastating allegation that claims Willingham had inappropriate sexual contact with a girl who is said to be about ten years old.  Willingham steadfastly denies the allegation.  “Nothing happened,” he said “…this is a heck of an allegation to make against someone, especially someone in my position.” Willingham added that the marriage between he and Joyce had been failing for some time.

According to court documents, Joyce Willingham claimed that in the past her husband Ed threatened to kill her if she ever tried to take his home or children and that he would abscond her remains. ““…no one would ever no (sic) because [she] would be put in a concrete slab or wood chipper.”

In the petition, Joyce Willingham also claims that Ed threatened to shoot any deputy that came to arrest him.

A protective order can cause a person who is a peace officer to lose their job because protective orders prohibit a person from being able to possess a handgun.  As an investigator for the DA’s office, Willingham was an armed peace officer.

Court records indicate that Ed Willingham filed for divorce against Joyce on July 20th and Joyce filed a petition for a protective order the same day on behalf of herself and the couple’s two children.  The Court issued an emergency protective order the same day which prohibited Ed from having contact with his wife.

According to reports, Willingham went to his former home where his estranged wife, Joyce, was.

Shortly before 3 AM Thursday morning, Sapulpa Police 9-1-1 received a call from Joyce reporting that Ed had been at the home.  Dispatchers routed the information to the Creek County Sheriff’s Office that responded to the call.

According to information, Joyce heard the laundry room door open and then pretended to be asleep.  She alleged that Ed came into the bedroom and touched her feet.  Joyce reported that she sat up and told Ed that she had called 9-1-1 and that he needed to leave.  She said that Ed then left the house, got into his pick-up and drove off.  Reports indicate that while leaving, he ran into a chain, pulling up two posts that crashed into his truck.

When deputies arrived and were interviewing Joyce, a call was received at the home that officials say was Willingham. A deputy answered the phone but no one would speak. Police say a check of the number indicated that the caller was Ed.
Police say this is not the first violation of the order.

In another incident, Joyce claimed that Ed entered the home and removed items from the house including tax documents, jewelry, prescription drugs, deeds, and birth certificates.  She reported the alleged violation on the same day the order was issued.

The Creek County Sheriff’s Office, in response to the first violation report, completed an affidavit and forwarded it to D. Max Cook, the Creek County District Attorney who is also Ed Willingham’s boss.

At the time, Ed had asked to be placed on leave to deal with his marital problems and other issues that were affecting him including an allegation that Willingham had, on the previous Sunday, been in sexual contact with a girl said to be about ten years old.  “I asked to be placed on leave,” Willingham said, “There’s was just too much going on for me to try and work, too.”

According to sources, allegations surfaced that Willingham had been discovered by his wife, Joyce, with the child and that the child had Willingham’s penis in her hand.

The Creek County Sheriff’s Office first initiated an investigation into the allegations against Willingham but called in the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter.

Likely, the sheriff’s office found itself in a conflict of interest because Willingham is a former chief deputy of that department and also ran unsuccessfully against the current sheriff in 2004.

The OSBI confirmed that an investigation was ongoing concerning allegations of an inappropriate sexual relationship between a child and an investigator with the Creek County District Attorney’s office but stopped short of releasing the name of the subject of the investigation.  Jessica Brown, spokesperson for the OSBI, said that it was the policy of the OSBI to not release names of people being investigated unless charges are filed.

According to sources, the girl was a frequent guest in the Willingham home.  Sources close to the investigation indicate that the girl is the daughter of an employee of Willingham’s concrete business which he owns and operates in the Sapulpa area.

The sources indicate that the girl made an allegation that she was watching television in the home on a Sunday night when Ed joined her. Sources indicate that the allegation is that Joyce entered the room and discovered Ed’s penis in the girl’s hand.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation report, at the time of this writing, has not been concluded. Brown said the investigation could take some time.
Willingham was booked into the Creek County jail following his arrest but was subsequently moved to the Oklmulgee County Jail for security reasons.
Last Updated ( Friday, 27 July 2007 )