The Woodward News

March 26, 2013

Woman facing felony charges

Area teacher in court Monday

Rowynn Ricks
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — A Freedom elementary school teacher has been charged with distribution of methamphetamine.

Debra Marie Bixler, 53, made her initial appearance in Woodward County District Court on Monday afternoon in connection with 2 felony charges of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance-methamphetamine.

Freedom Public School Principal Brett Hill confirmed that Bixler is an employee of the Freedom school district.  However, Hill declined to make any additional comment.

According to the Freedom Public School District's website http://www.freedom.k12.ok.us, Bixler has been employed by the school since 1991 and currently teaches 5th and 6th grades and is a Special Education teacher.

Bixler was arrested over the weekend after charges were filed on Friday alleging that she sold methamphetamine to both a confidential informant for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and to an undercover OBN agent.

According to an affidavit filed with the charges, the OBN informant allegedly paid $20 to purchase approximately one-tenth of a gram of purported methamphetamine from Bixler at her residence south of Woodward during a buy on March 8.

The affidavit states that during the same buy, the OBN informant also allegedly purchased 4 grams of marijuana from Jonathan Micah Stahlman, who was residing with Bixler.  The 21-year-old Stahlman has also been charged with distribution of controlled dangerous substance-marijuana in connection with the alleged March 8 buy.  Stahlman has yet to be arrested in the case and a $100,000 bench warrant has been issued against him.

Following the alleged March 8 buy, the affidavit states that the OBN informant contacted Bixler again on March 11 to request making another purchase of methamphetamine.  The informant asked Bixler to deliver the methamphetamine to a friend, who was actually an undercover OBN agent.

The affidavit states Bixler then met with the undercover agent at a Woodward gas station, where the agent was allegedly able to purchase approximately one-half of gram of methamphetamine from Bixler for $70.

According to the affidavit, the substances purchased in both alleged buys were each field tested and received a positive indication for the presence of methamphetamine before being transported to an OSBI lab for further analysis.

In her court appearance on Monday, Associate District Judge Don Work set Bixler's preliminary hearing on Sept. 10 at 9:30 a.m.  The judge also set her bond at $100,000 based on a recommendation from Assistant District Attorney Chris Boring.

The judge said that the bond was typical for the type of crime for which Bixler has been accused.

"That's kind of what they ask for on any kind of sale of controlled dangerous substance," Work said of the $100,000 bond.

Still Bixler asked the judge if he might consider a bond reduction so that she could possibly make bail and return to work.  However, the judge denied a reduction after ADA Boring said that additional charges are pending against her.

Boring told the judge that when Bixler was arrested on Friday, some additional substance was found in her possession which has been sent off for testing.

"We're waiting on the lab test results," before making a decision on whether to fire more charges, Boring said.