Man arrested for aiding Oklahoma double murderer during police search

October 31, 2016 1:08 AM EDT

Michael Dale Vance Jr, 38, wanted in connection with overnight shooting incidents in Oklahoma, is seen in a picture released by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, U.S. October 24, 2016. Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office/Hando


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By Jon Herskovitz

(Reuters) - A convicted Oklahoma felon was charged on Monday with helping a man suspected of double murder evade a manhunt by patching his gunshot wounds, providing him shelter and supplying him with a weapon, a sheriff said on Monday.

Danny Roach, 34, was held without bond in the Oklahoma County jail on charges including two counts of accessory to felony murder for aiding suspected double murderer Michael Vance, Oklahoma County Sheriff John Whetsel told a news conference.

No lawyer was listed for Roach in online jail records.

Vance, 38, was killed in a shootout on Sunday with police, who had been pursuing him for a week after he was suspected of killing his aunt and uncle and trying to decapitate them on Oct. 23.

He was also suspected of wounding two police officers in a shootout a few hours before the murders and posting videos of his getaway on social media.

Vance, whose image saturated local media after the killings, is believed to have gone to Roach's Oklahoma City residence shortly after the double murder, Whetsel said.

Roach told authorities he provided bandages for Vance, who was wounded by police in the Oct. 23 gunfight, the sheriff said.

Roach was taken into custody on Saturday and formally charged on Monday.

Roach traded a gun Vance used in his initial crime spree, which included attempted carjackings, for a similar weapon, and provided him with ammunition, Whetsel said.

"Roach said he traded Vance a different AK-47 rifle with a shorter barrel that would provide him with a better tactical advantage," Whetsel said.

Roach also watched for police until Vance left the home, the sheriff said.

Vance, described as a "madman" by the sheriff, is suspected of shooting five people, including another law enforcement officer in Sunday's shootout. He was killed about 130 miles (210 kms) northwest of Oklahoma City.

The sheriff's deputy shot by Vance in that incident, in which Vance used the weapon provided by Roach, underwent surgery on his shoulder and is expected to survive, Whetsel said.

Online court records show that Roach has previously been convicted of felony drug and gun crimes.

(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Dan Grebler)



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