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Man who claimed shooting was accident now faces murder trial

A 58-year-old Lawton man accused of shooting and killing another man in October was bound over for trial on Wednesday.

Bret Kevin Splawn is charged with first-degree murder, as well as misdemeanor charges of possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia, in connection with the death of Donald Miller on Oct. 29 at 2158 Northwest Lincoln.

Splawn was initially charged with second-degree murder, but Comanche County District Judge Ken Harris approved the amended charge at the conclusion of Wednesday's preliminary hearing.

According to an affidavit filed in November in court, Splawn told police the shooting was "accidental," but police reported that Splawn's statement in relation to the shooting "was inconsistent with evidence located at the scene."

Lawton police Sgt. Danny Smith testified that following the shooting around midnight, Splawn told him that "he's (Splawn's) the one who called (911) and the one who shot him (Miller)."

Splawn told detectives he was cleaning a .380 handgun when it accidently discharged. But the blood-splattered handgun that detectives found was a .45 caliber, not .380, according to Smith's testimony.

Smith also said the cleaning kit Splawn allegedly used had no evidence of being used.

Investigators saw the blood-splattered .45 caliber handgun behind some books on a bookshelf, as though Splawn had attempted to hide it, Detective Fernando Diaz testified.

Testimony revealed that before the gun went off, Miller was sitting in a wheelchair in a hallway, while Splawn was about 10 feet away in the den area, cleaning the gun and facing away from Miller. 

The Lawton Constitution

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