PEOPLE Explains: The Oklahoma Mother and Daughter Charged with Incest for Marrying Each Other

Last week, an Oklahoma woman received 10 years probation after admitting to marrying her mother

Last Thursday, an Oklahoma woman who last year married her biological mother was sentenced to 10 years probation after pleading guilty to incest.

In 2016, Oklahoma police arrested the mother, Patricia Spann, now 44, and her 26-year-old daughter, Misty Velvet Dawn Spann, charging both of them with incest.

Patricia has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to appear in court in January. PEOPLE was unable to reach her attorney.

The shocking case got another twist when authorities revealed the identity of Patricia’s ex-husband: Her son. That marriage was annulled after the son claimed incest.

Here are six things to know about the case.

1. Patricia ‘Hit It Off’ with Her Estranged Daughter After the Two Reunited, Police Say

Patricia allegedly told investigators she lost custody years ago of daughter Misty Spann, to whom she gave birth when she was 17, and her other two children, but reunited with them in 2014, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by PEOPLE.

The three children were adopted by their paternal grandmother, according to police.

Spann allegedly told police that she and her daughter “hit it off” after their reunion, the affidavit states.

2. Police Learned of the Marriage During a Child Welfare Investigation

The marriage was discovered in August 2016 when authorities investigated a child welfare complaint, according to police.

The mother and daughter managed to secure a marriage license in March 2016, and married not long after. Records show there were at least two witnesses to the nuptials.


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Under Oklahoma law, marrying a close relative is considered incest whether the relationship is sexual or not.

3. Patricia Previously Married Her Son, in 2008

Patricia Spann also married her son, Jody Spann Jr., back in 2008, but that marriage was annulled in 2010.

“He filed for an annulment 15 months later citing incest, stating he was married to his birth mother,” a court affidavit states.

Patricia allegedly told investigators she did not have a sexual relationship with her son, and that the marriage occurred so he wouldn’t be “deployed with the military. She says she married her daughter in hopes of adopting a child,” the affidavit states.

4. Police Allege Patricia Said She Was Under Impression the Marriage Was Lawful

According to investigators, Patricia told officials she had “looked into it” and didn’t think she was breaking any laws by marrying her daughter.

She allegedly claimed she thought she could legally marry Misty because her name is no longer listed on her daughter’s birth certificate.

Patricia is identified as Patricia Ann Clayton on their marriage license application.

5. Police Say Patricia’s Son Might Not Have Been Aware He’d Married His Mother

Both Patricia and Misty “are aware of their biological relationship, and have considered getting the marriage annulled,” according to an arrest affidavit.

“The daughter knew for a fact” she was marrying her own mother, a police spokesperson previously told PEOPLE.

“She was perfectly aware,” the spokesperson adds. “The son, we’re not too clear on. But the daughter we know for a fact that she knew.”

6. One of Patricia’s Sons Alleges She’s a ‘Predator’ Who ‘Forced’ Children to Marry Her

One of Patricia’s sons, Cody Spann, told PEOPLE previously that his mother is an alleged “predator” who “forced” his brother and sister to marry her – and threatened to kill them if they did not comply.

“I think she’s just a sick, twisted individual that has something messed up in her head,” Cody, 25, told PEOPLE last September. “Why would you want to be with one of your own kids? Patricia’s a very disgusting and horrible person.”

Cody said Patricia reentered the children’s lives in 2007 or 2008, claiming to be a friend rather than their biological mother. Cody said he, Patricia and his siblings spent some time in Texas where Patricia and Jody became close. The two eventually married, but when the family returned to Oklahoma, everyone learned the truth: that they were related.

“My grandmother looked at my brother and told him that was his mom,” Cody recalled. “My brother … said that he wanted to get away from her – that was not what he wanted. And she threatened to kill him. She threatened to poison him.”

Updated by KC Baker
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