TULSA – Attorney General Mike Hunter today joined officials with the Tulsa Police Department and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office to announce a first degree murder charge on an alleged Tulsa drug dealer in connection with an overdose death.
Taylor Rogers, 29, is accused of selling heroin to Jillian Searle, who died from the result of an overdose after her mother found her unconscious in their Tulsa home on March 21.
Attorney General Hunter said although Searle’s life can never be replaced, the first degree murder charge will hopefully bring the family some kind of justice.
“We hope the charge of first degree murder sends a clear message to drug dealers, who sell poison to the men, women and children of Oklahoma,” Attorney General Hunter said. “We are coming after you to hold you accountable for the anguish and suffering you are causing Oklahomans. Though we cannot bring Jillian back, I hope her family feels some sense of relief.
“I applaud the efforts of the Tulsa Police Department, led by Chief Chuck Jordan for using the Safe Oklahoma Grant to pursue criminal drug dealers, gangs and other illicit enterprises. I am honored my office could play a role by providing these resources and making Tulsa and the state a safer place.”
According to the affidavit, during the investigation, officers interviewed Rogers, who admitted to selling a gram of heroin to Searle approximately 24 hours before her death. During the interview, he said he believed it was his heroin that killed her.
“Dealing drugs in our community in any amount is never acceptable,” said Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan. “With the help of the Safe Oklahoma Grant allowing us to put more boots on the ground, we are going to continue our successful mission to find these drug dealers and stop them. I appreciate Attorney General Hunter and the Tulsa County District Attorney’s Office for their partnership and dedication to prosecuting these criminals to the furthest extent of the law.”
According to the most recent report submitted by the Tulsa Police Department to the Attorney General’s Office, between December 2017 and March 2018, the Tulsa Police Department used the additional resources from the Safe Oklahoma Grant to fund nearly 1,500 hours of overtime to combat criminal activity in the Tulsa area.
“Though we cannot replace a life, we can demand justice for someone taking one,” said First Assistant District Attorney Erik Grayless. “We felt the charge was necessary to get Rogers off the street and show other drug dealers our goal is to ensure they will spend the rest of their lives in prison for these actions.”
To read the affidavit, click here.
About the Safe Oklahoma Grant Program
The Safe Oklahoma Grant Program was created in 2012 by the Oklahoma Legislature through House Bill 3052. The legislation directs appropriation be made fully available at the end of each fiscal year to the attorney general’s office to distribute to local law enforcement agencies and sheriff’s departments.
After the applications are reviewed, the grants are made on an annual basis. Grants are awarded on a one-year period and continued funding is not guaranteed. Applicants must include the city’s violent crime rate for the previous five years.
Attorney General Hunter speaks during a media availability with Tulsa County First Assistant District Attorney Erik Grayless (left) and Tulsa Police Chief Chuck Jordan (right).