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Sallisaw woman charged with 1st-degree murder

Updated: Nov 16, 2022

Shawna Marie Pratt

Tuesday, November 15, 2022 - A Sallisaw woman was charged Nov. 10 with first-degree murder after a man reportedly overdosed on Fentanyl at her home.

Shawna Marie Pratt, 43, faces life in prison, life without parole or the death penalty if she is convicted.

On April 7, a Sallisaw police lieutenant was contacted about a possible drug overdose at Pratt’s home at 809 S. Elm St. Pratt reportedly told the officer that the victim, Joshua Choate, had gone to the bathroom when they heard him collapse.

Pratt told officers that Whitley Plank had arrived with Choate but had fled the scene before police arrived.

Emergency workers and police officers worked on Choate until he was transported to Northeastern Health System – Sequoyah.

Officers searched the residence and found a syringe cap on the bathroom vanity. Officers then entered the bedroom, where Pratt showed them Choate’s hat, which had a torch in it. A torch is commonly used to melt pills, according to officers with the Sallisaw Police Department.

Pratt refused to allow police to conduct a more thorough search, insisting they obtain a search warrant.

Once the warrant was obtained, officers returned to the Pratt home and began to search it.

In a middle bedroom, an officer located a box that contained a set of working digital scales with a white residue on them. A plastic bag containing an off-white crystalline substance weighing 22 grams was also found, according to the SPD. The drugs field-tested positive for methamphetamine. Five more small bags were found to contain 18 grams of the same substance.

The box also contained multiple loaded syringes and assorted pills. In a dresser drawer, officers discovered a syringe with its cap missing, along with a black cellphone that Shawna Pratt said belonged to Choate.

Pratt was arrested and transported to the SPD. Plank was later taken into custody and taken to the county jail.

While at the SPD, Shawna Pratt agreed to speak with officers. She told them Choate and Plank had been using pills during the middle of the week so they could pass a drug test. She said Choate came to her residence with a pill that he said was Fentanyl.

Pratt said she told Choate she didn’t want him and Plank doing drugs there, but said she knew there was Narcan in the house, so she let them use the pill.

According to Pratt, Whitley Plank “snorted” a small amount of the drug while Choate went to the bathroom to “shoot” the rest.

She said Choate came out of the bathroom and collapsed on the edge of the bed and she immediately called 911 and administered the Narcan and performed CPR on Choate until EMS arrived.

Pratt said Plank had fled the scene because she was scared and was participating in the drug court program.

During a later interview with authorities Pratt stated that the fentanyl pill had been in her home for weeks but that she could not remember where it came from. She also admitted that she had sold the pill to Choate. Records indicate that Choate paid Pratt for the pill using CashApp. After her admission she stated, “Please don’t charge me for murder.”

Laura Brown, Staff Writer

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