Police: Oklahoma man died while bound, gagged in back of pickup

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TULSA, Okla. – Police say an Oklahoma man died after he was bound, gagged, and left in a covered pickup bed on a hot day.

According to The Tulsa WorldVernon Lee-Mountel Smith, 27, was arrested in Tulsa in connection to the death of 27-year-old Chazz Holly.

Holly had cerebral palsy and delayed cognitive reasoning, reports say.

His parents, who live in Talala, Oklahoma, reported him missing on June 21.

Smith told police Holly and a friend were going to sell Holly’s dad’s GMC Sierra pickup for $1,000 in Longview, Texas.

However, Smith says that plan eventually turned into a drug deal.

When Holly backed out of the deal, Smith and another man bound and gagged him and threw him into a covered bed of the pickup.

According to The Tulsa World, although Smith admits to helping put Holly in the back of the truck, he says it was his friend’s idea.

Holly remained in the back of the truck on a hot day while Smith and the other man drove around for several hours.

Smith told police that he realized Holly was “near death and in serious condition,” and asked his friend if they could take him out of the back of the truck.

However, Smith says Holly remained in the back of the pickup and later died there.

Smith and his friend eventually pulled over and dumped Holly’s body alongside a highway near Antlers, according to a police report.

On July 15, Smith reportedly called police and told them Holly was alive and well in the Dallas area.

After Holly’s body was found on July 19, police officers arrested Smith in Tulsa.

Smith was booked into jail on complaints of second-degree murder and kidnapping.

According to The Tulsa World, authorities are still looking for the second suspect, whose name has not been released.

 

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