Response to 9-1-1 call nets Lawtonian 8 years in prison

  • Response to 9-1-1 call nets Lawtonian 8 years in prison

OKLAHOMA CITY – A Lawton man was sentenced Wednesday to eight years in federal prison for possession of illegal explosives and being a felon in possession of several firearms.

            The case arose from a 9-1-1 emergency call placed shortly before 2 a.m. on January 30, 2019, during a domestic disturbance, U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing said. A woman told the dispatcher that Philip James Heath, 52, had pointed a gun at her and threatened her.

            Lawton police were dispatched to the scene at 7002 SW Green Terrace Boulevard and entered the residence to check on the welfare of the woman “they had heard screaming for help,” a special agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) wrote in an affidavit.

            During searches of the residence January 30-31, 2019, investigators found five firearms, 1,404 rounds of ammunition, and two lengths of detonating cord, Downing said.

            Subsequently it was learned that Heath, who had lived in Lawton for 12 years, was convicted of first-degree burglary in 1987 and of being an addict in possession of a firearm in 1996; both felony offenses occurred in California, court records show. Heath also was convicted of petty theft of a candy bar in 1988, his defense attorney informed the court.

            Heath signed a petition on June 6, 2019, announcing his intention to plead guilty to the federal charges.

            U.S. District Judge Scott Palk sentenced Heath to serve 96 months in federal prison and ordered him to forfeit the weapons, ammunition and detonating cord.

            In announcing his sentence, the judge emphasized Heath’s criminal history, his conduct related to possession of the weapons and explosives, the need to protect the public from any further crimes by Heath, and the need to deter Heath from engaging in more criminal conduct, Downing reported.

            According to Downing the case was investigated by the Lawton Police Department, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol, the ATF and the FBI Oklahoma City Division’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.