Prosecutors May Seek Death Penalty Against Oklahoma Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors likely will seek the death penalty against a Sallisaw teenager who was arrested after a shooting spree that left two dead and eight wounded.

District Attorney Dianne Barker Harrold said Monday there are enough aggravating factors in the case against Daniel Hawke Fears, 18, to make it a capital offense. He will be charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree murder and other criminal charges are being considered, she said.

Fears is being held without bail and is on a suicide watch.

His attorney, Monte Johnson, said he does not think his client fully comprehends what happened. Johnson said Fears may have been depressed at the time of the shooting and may have been "self-medicating" to deal with his problems.

A blood test was performed on Fears after the shootings, but results will not be available for at least two weeks.

Johnson said he intends to enter a not guilty plea on behalf of his client when Fears is officially charged on Wednesday.

Seven counselors were on hand Monday to talk to students at Sallisaw High School, which Fears attended.

Superintendent Ronald E. Wyrick said security was increased at the school Monday and student cars were searched. Students also were upset at the death of two Sallisaw teenagers whose car was hit by a freight train Sunday and serious injuries suffered by a third teenager who fell out of the back of a pickup truck.

Authorities say the shooting rampage started about 5 p.m. Saturday after Gregory Caughman, 29, chastised Fears for driving erratically where children were playing.

Fears then allegedly broke into his father's nearby house and stole a 20-gauge shotgun. Neighbors Patsy Wells, 61, and Elvie Gene Wells, 64, came to the house to talk to the teen. Witnesses say Fears came out of the house and shot the Wellses, Caughman and Caughman's 2-year-old daughter.

Patsy Wells died. Elvie Wells was hospitalized in fair condition. The Caughmans were treated and released.

Fears then drove to a Sallisaw car dealership where authorities say he shot and killed Reba Spangler, 68, of Fort Smith, Ark. Salesman Jimmy Nunn, 58, of Muskogee was also shot. He was hospitalized in good condition.

From there, Fears went to a statue shop three miles east of Sallisaw. Investigators say he shot a couple while they shopped. They both survived.

Fears then continued down U.S. 64 and randomly shot at vehicles on the highway. Officials say he wounded Matthew Christopher Tabor, 27, who was treated and released.

Fears drove into Muldrow where he fired from his truck and hit the last victim, Linda Dutton. Dutton, 26, was walking along the highway with her 9-month-old and 5-year-old daughters. The children were not injured. Dutton was hospitalized in good condition.

Minutes later Fears was arrested after he crashed his pickup near a roadblock near Roland.