June 17, 2017

Body of Okla. pastor, convicted sex offender found burned near church

6-17-17 Oklahoma:

CHICKASHA — Police are investigating after the body of an Oklahoma pastor with a previous out-of-state sex crime conviction was found burned on Friday morning near the church where he ministered under an assumed name.

The body of Pastor Michael Dean Walworth was found lying on the ground near First Missionary Baptist Church and a neighboring residence, according to a Chickasha Police Department report.

Walworth was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders, though his cause of death has not been determined and is still under investigation, the report said.

Many of Walworth’s parishioners said they knew his last name to be Willits — the same name he used on his Facebook page — but CPD Lt. Scott Weaver confirmed the victim’s last name as Walworth.

Walworth was convicted in Texas in 1998 on a charge of lewd or indecent proposals/acts to a child. Police said he was registered locally as a sex offender until recently, when that part of his Texas sentence expired.

David Fox attended the church where Walworth preached and met him in 2013 through a Christian 12-step program called Celebrate Recovery.

“I got nothing but good things to say about him,” he said. “He helped me out in a bad time, made sure I walked through it step-by-step and he was by my side cheering me on and believing in me the whole time. (It’s) just shocking why any low life would do that to him because I’m one of several people he did that for.”

Fox said he was unaware of Walworth’s past, but the fact that he was a convicted sex offender doesn’t change his opinion of him.

“We all have one (a past), and although that’s not the best past to have in the field of work and people he was working with, people do change and I still have nothing but good things to say about him,” he said. ..Source.. by Lane and Bright write for the Chickasha Express-Star.

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