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The Shawnee News-Star
  • Shawnee woman gets life in prison for 2012 homicide

  • Statements from children who will grow up without their mother were among the Victim Impact Statements considered before a Shawnee woman was sentenced Wednesday to serve life in prison for a 2012 homicide.
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    Statements from children who will grow up without their mother were among the Victim Impact Statements considered before a Shawnee woman was sentenced Wednesday to serve life in prison for a 2012 homicide.
    Heather Nicole Checotah, 25, appeared in Pottawatomie County District Court, where District Judge John Canavan handed down the life sentence. Checotah was convicted by a jury following a trial in May, with those jurors recommending a life sentence.
    She was accused of stabbing Gina Raechel Swain of Oklahoma City in the chest with a knife on Feb. 5, 2012, in Shawnee.
    Several victim impact statements were filed as part of the case, including statements by some of Swain’s seven children.
    “Whenever I think about my mommy being dead, I just can’t do the things I used to do. I can’t really pay attention in school and sometimes I feel like crying…,” one of the children wrote.
    “I wish my mom did not die,” another child wrote. “I miss her so much because she used to do my hair very pretty. She was always a very nice and sweet person.”
    The victim’s mother, who is raising her children, also asked for the maximum sentence possible.
    The 2012 stabbing occurred in the parking lot of Chapel Ridge Apartments, where Shawnee police officers arrived outside the area of Building 20 to find Swain sitting in a chair with a stab wound.
    According to the arrest affidavit filed with these charges, police spoke with a woman at the scene who reportedly told police that Checotah, who was her ex-girlfriend, had stabbed Swain with a kitchen knife.
    Swain, who went by Medi Flight helicopter ambulance to OU Medical Center, died the next day.
    Police arrested Checotah at a Shawnee residence the day of the stabbing.
    She will remain jailed in the Pottawatomie County Public Safety Center until she is transferred to a state penitentiary.
     
     
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