Oklahoma man’s lawsuit seeks insurance benefits.
BY JOHNNY JOHNSON
Published: Sun, March 28, 2010 12:00 AM
In the federal lawsuit filed March 2 in Oklahoma City, Gerald Don Stice, 45, a convicted sex offender, claims that his wife, Denise Stice, died in an apparent homicide and that he was the "rightful beneficiary to any and all benefits” from the life insurance policy. The office of the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance program refuses to release the benefits without proof that he was not involved in her death, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit says the husband, more commonly known as Don Stice, has never been named as a suspect or otherwise implicated in the death of his wife.
Oklahoma City Police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said neither Don Stice nor anyone else has been eliminated as a suspect in Denise Stice’s death, but the husband remains "a strong person of interest.”
The body of Denise Stice was found Nov. 27, 2007, floating in Lake Overholser with a gunshot wound to the head.
Calls to Don Stice’s lawyer were not returned.
Repeated attempts to contact Stice have been unsuccessful. His most recent address listed on his state sex offender registry listing is for a "sober living apartment for women and couples” near NW 30 and Classen. A handwritten request for an interview that was left under the door at the apartment was not answered.
A little more than a year after his wife’s death, police issued several felony arrest warrants for Don Stice on suspicion of concealing stolen property, possession of methamphetamine and possession of marijuana.
He later pleaded guilty to one count of concealing stolen property and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
Shortly after he was arrested, family members of Denise Stice filed a motion to remove her husband as the personal representative of her estate and to allow Denise Stice’s sister, Tina Marie Thompson, to serve in his stead.
A message left for Thompson through another family member was not returned.
"Since being appointed, Gerald Stice has been arrested on drug charges, questioned relative to the death” of Denise Stice and her $148,000 home in a gated community near Moore "is now subject to foreclosure,” an attorney for the sister wrote in the motion, which was later granted by the court.
Stice was given a five-year suspended sentence for concealing stolen property, as well as one- and 10-year suspended sentences for the drug charges, but that wasn’t the first time he had been in trouble with the law.
In 1994 he was convicted of sexual battery in Carter County stemming from an assault in 1992, and he was forced to register as a Level-3 sex offender for the rest of his life.
Originally charged with first-degree rape in the case, Stice later pleaded guilty to a lesser offense of sexual battery, according to court documents.
The victim of the attack, Sandy Eiler, who agreed to an interview on the condition that her maiden name be used, said in a telephone interview this month she had never met Don Stice before that night.
The Oklahoman does not typically name victims of sexual assault or rape.
Eiler said she had just finished singing at the Holiday Inn in Ardmore and was packing her van when Stice, who had been at the bar, came to her and complimented her voice.
"I was getting ready to go when he came up to the driver side and just got in and attacked me there in the parking lot,” Eiler said. "There was a callousness to him — an off-handed brutality. I don’t know how else to explain it. After he finished ... he said, ‘Do you want me to stay?’ It was the behavior of a sociopath. It was just like he didn’t think he had done anything wrong.”
Police look for possible witness
Don Stice, 45, told police the last time he heard from his wife, Denise, was on Nov. 26, 2007. She called to say she was on her way home from work but was going to stop to do some Christmas shopping.
Denise Stice, 48, was director of the Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization at the Air Logistics Center at Tinker Air Force Base.
The next day, a woman’s nude and beaten body was found floating in Lake Overholser with a gunshot wound to the head, Oklahoma City police Master Sgt. Gary Knight said.
Investigators didn’t immediately know who the woman was, but about the time the body was found, Denise Stice’s 2002 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was spotted at an apartment complex near NW 10 and Tela Drive, about three miles from the lake.
After the body was found, police said, Don Stice reported his wife missing. The body was then identified as his wife.
Detectives think someone might have seen something the night Denise Stice died, and they ask any possible witnesses to call the police homicide tip line at 297-1200.
|Person of interest. Gerald Donald Stice.|