Investigator of the Year: Congratulations to Scott Winford, Tulsa Fire Department, 2016 OKIAAI Investigator of the Year
Investigator Scott Winford is a longtime member of the OKIAAI of which he is currently the president. Scott also is an ATF Task Force Officer and Canine Handler. Scott has been an investigator for the Tulsa Fire Department since 2007. During this time, Scott has routinely worked difficult cases. The case below is only one of many that could have been used for jurisdiction for Scott’s nomination for the Investigator of the Year. However, this particular case was especially difficult as investigators had to cope with the loss of a young child. Scott’s professionalism and tenacity persevered and allowed justice to be served.
On .9-16-014 at approximately 0042 hours, the Tulsa Fire Department responded to an occupied one story residential structure fire. The fire occurred at 4021 E. 28th St., located in the City of Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Tulsa Fire Investigator Scott Winford responded to the scene. ATF SA/CFI Ashley Stephens also responded to assist with the scene examination. Investigators determined the fire originated in the attached garage, located on the north end of the structure. Four occupants were transported to area hospitals. One occupant was treated at the scene for minor burn injuries. A five year old male later died as a result of injuries sustained in the fire.
After conducting a scene examination and interviews, Investigators classified the fire “Incendiary.” The ATF Accelerant Detection Canine “Canyon” was utilized and numerous samples were collected. Laboratory testing determined that several samples contained an ignitable liquid (gasoline).
Steven Clement was the boyfriend of the mother of the deceased child. Ultimately, through an interview by Investigator Winford, Clement was developed as a suspect. Investigator Winford sought a search warrant for phone records which were used to corroborate the mother’s statements regarding threats made by Clement.
Investigator Winford utilizing the team approach concept to further the investigation. As such, Investigator Winford partnered with the Tulsa Police Department Homicide Division and the Tulsa Police Department Child Crisis Division. Through this cooperation between fire investigators, homicide investigators and child crisis investigators, Clement was ultimately charged with Murder – First Degree in Commission of the Felony Crime of Arson – 1st degree, in violation of 21 O.S. 701.7 and Endangering Human Life During Arson, in violation of 21 O.S. 1405.
In February of 2015, Investigator Winford testified as an expert in Clement’s probable cause hearing. Clement was bound over for trial.
On 10-5-2015, Clement pled guilty to both counts and was sentenced to Life Without the Possibility of Parole.
Scott is a selfless investigator, always willing to lend a hand. His work ethic is unmatched. As an ATF Task Force Officer Canine Handler, Scott is often called away from his family to assist in numerous jurisdictions. Scott does so without ever complaining and is a consummate professional.