Karen Pritchard murder trial set to begin Monday

by Toni Hopper

It's been just over three years since Marlow resident Karen Pritchard, 52, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder, and at least 138 counts of animal cruelty in Stephens County District Court. Her alleged victim was Ashley Nicole Anderson, 31, of Marlow.

Multiple supboenas have been issued for individuals to appear in the upcoming jury trial, set to begin 9 a.m. Monday, April 22. It has been on the felony docket call five times, and set for trial four times. It has also resulted in $41,193.57 in court charges as of April 16. Pritchard has been out on bond.

The case dates back to Feb. 12, 2021, after county sheriff's deputies went to visit with Pritchard at her property north of Marlow.

According to Sheriff Wayne McKinney at that time it was for a welfare check based off a report that a person was injured or killed on the property. He said Pritchard denied knowing anything. The deputies returned with a search warrant. Once on the property, they discovered a puppy mill with an estimated 165 to 200 animals and the body of Anderson. Her body was in an outbuilding on the property and she was believed to be an employee of Pritchard's. During the rescue of the dogs, temperatures were hovering around 16 degrees.

Anderson's obituary described her as a person who loved the outdoors and animals.

Pritchard entered a not guilty plea, June 9, 2022, noted on court records. Earlier this month, District Attorney Jason Hicks confirmed that the trial has been set for Monday.

The case of Austin Wayne Winsor, 25, of Marlow was also set for this same docket, but Hicks said it will be reset for October. Winsor was charged in October 2022 with manslaughter in the first degree. Winsor is accused of driving while under the influence of drugs. His alleged actions behind the wheel of a motor vehicle in April 2022, resulted in the death of a man, and injury to a teenage girl. Oklahoma Highway Patrol filed the report.

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