Tag: Oklahoma

Greg Epperson: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Greg Epperson. (Tulsa County Jail)

A Tulsa man accused of strangling a 19-year-old woman during a burglary was previously suspected in two murders, but was never prosecuted in either case because of a lack of evidenceKOTV reports.

Gregory Epperson, 41, was charged with murder in the death of Kelsey Tennant, who came home from work Monday afternoon to find him burglarizing her home, according to police. Epperson beat and then choked Tennant to death, police said.

He is also accused of attacking Tennant’s boyfriend and trying to shoot him when he also came home, police said.

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Kelsey Tennant. (Facebook)

In 2015, Epperson was charged in the 2008 cold case murder of Tulsa car dealer Ray Johnson, KOTV reports. The charges were dropped last year because the district attorney determined there wasn’t enough evidence to convict him.

Epperson is also suspected in the unsolved killing of his landlord, John Baker, but has never been charged in that case, police said.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Police Say Epperson, Who Didn’t Know the Victim, Continued Rummaging Through the House While Tennant Was Dying & Was Later Caught in a Neighboring Apartment

(Facebook)

Police say Greg Epperson broke into Kelsey Tennant’s apartment in south Tulsa while she was at work on Monday, KOKI-TV reports.

When she came home from work about 3 p.m., she walked in on Epperson inside the apartment, and he attacked her, beating her and then strangling her, police said. As Tennant was dying, Epperson continued to rummage around the apartment, KFOR-TV reports.

Her boyfriend, Riley Allen, became concerned when Tennant didn’t answer his calls, and came to her apartment to check on her. Epperson also attacked Allen and tried to shoot him, according to police. Allen was wounded and Epperson fled, police said.

Police and medical personnel responded to the apartment and took both Allen and Tennant to the hospital. Tennant was in critical condition with no brain activity when she was rushed to the hospital, and she was later pronounced dead about 11:50 p.m. Allen was not seriously injured.

According to police, Epperson was found in a neighboring apartment and was arrested about 11 p.m.

Investigators say there are no ties between Epperson and the victims. He is a friend of their neighbor, KOKI reports.

Tulsa Police Sergeant Dave Walker told the Tulsa World the case is believed to be an “an interrupted burglary.”

It is one of three homicides that occurred in Tulsa on Monday in an eight-hour period and is the 16th in the city this year.

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2. Epperson Told a Witness He Killed Ray Johnson, His Cousin’s Husband, in 2008 After They ‘Got Into It’

(Tulsa County Jail)

Epperson was arrested in 2015 and charged with the 2008 murder of Tulsa car dealer Ray Johnson, according to KOTV.

“Epperson, we believe, shot and killed Mr. Johnson, put him in the trunk of a car then dumped his body in a creek,” said Tulsa Police Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker told the news station on Tuesday.

But the case was dropped by prosecutors last year because of a lack of evidence. Epperson was released from custody in January 2016, just before a trial in the case was set to begin.

“We didn’t feel like there was sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, with the evidence we had,” Assistant District Attorney John David Luton told the Tulsa World in 2016. “And if we did take it in front of a jury and they found him not guilty, we’d be forever barred against prosecuting him.”

Johnson disappeared on September 11, 2008, and his body has never been found, the Tulsa World reports.

Epperson was arrested after a witness came forward and claimed he had been forced by Epperson to help dispose of Johnson’s body after he was killed.

Johnson, 34, was the husband of Epperson’s cousin, according to the Tulsa World. Epperson told police Johnson was also a friend of his from school, but denied killing him. He refused to give a DNA sample whne questioned.

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Ray Johnson.

Johnson’s wife reported him missing on September 12, 2008, after he failed to come home. She went to his car dealership and found his car, and told police it smelled like bleach and items in the trunk had blood on them, the World reports.

A witness, Jarid Taylor, later told police Epperson put a gun to his head and forced him to help dispose of Johnson’s body. Taylor said he had gone to Epperson’s house, and Epperson told him he needed help after he “got into it with his boy.”

According to court documents obtained by KOKI-TV, Taylor told police he saw Epperson holding a bleach bucket and spraying down his driveway with a garden house. He then saw blood on the ground and a body on the side of Epperson’s house, with a bloody hammer laying next to it.

Taylor told investigators he and Epperson put Johnson’s body into the trunk of a car and dumped him in a creek.

According to police, a familial DNA sample taken from Johnson’s son matched blood found in the vehicle Taylor told investigators they used to dispose of Johnson’s body. The sample also matched blood on items found on items in the car, police said.

Luton, the assistant district attorney, told the Tulsa World in 2016 that they decided to halt the prosecution because they were waiting for additional DNA testing and hoped to speak to additional witnesses.

“The prosecution of Gregory Jerome Epperson for the death of Ray Johnson was discontinued due to significant concerns about the lack of corroborating evidence to convict him,” District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler said in a statement on Tuesday, after Epperson’s arrest in the latest homicide case.

Kunzweiler said the statements by Taylor, a felon and associate of Johnson and Epperson, couldn’t be sufficiently corroborated by independent evidence.

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3. He Was the Last Person to Talk to John Baker, His Landlord, Before Baker Was Killed in 2010 & Dumped in a Lake, Police Say

(Tulsa County Jail)

Epperson is also a suspect in another unsolved homicide, the 2010 death of John Baker, KOTV reports.

Baker’s body was found in Lake Keystone. Epperson has never been charged in the case.

“The last person to talk to Mr. Baker was Epperson and Epperson was living in a rental house of Baker’s,” Tulsa Police Sergeant Dave Walker told KOTV. But there was no physical evidence to connect Epperson to the case, Walker said.

john baker tulsa

John Baker.

Baker, 66, disappeared in November 2010, KOTV reported at the time.

His truck was later found abandoned, and his body was located in January 2011 at the Keystone Dam.

Police said Baker was an avid poker player and was known to carry large amounts of cash. His daughter, Carmen Matherly, said in 2014 the family was still hoping to find his killer.

“The holidays are terrible, but every day is. I wake up and his picture is right there. There’s not a day, in the back of my mind, I don’t try to play detective myself and try to find this person that’s out there,” she told KOTV. “”I know there’s people out there that know the real truth to this case, and I beg and plead everyday and pray that they would have the heart to come forward.”

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4. Epperson Is Being Held Without Bail on Charges Including First-Degree Murder & Burglary

(Facebook)

Gregory Jerome Epperson is being held at the Tulsa County Jail without bail on charges of first-degree murder, assault and battery with intent to kill, first-degree burglary and assault and battery, online records show.

He is scheduled to appear in court on March 28. It is not clear if he has an attorney.

While Epperson has never been convicted of murder, he has a lengthy criminal record. His previous convictions include second-degree burglary, obstructing an officer, driving under suspension and transporting an open container.

He was most recently arrested in December 2016 for failing to pay court costs.

Epperson is a Tulsa resident and has two daughters, according to his Facebook page.

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5. Tennant Was Remembered by Her Sister as a ‘Special Person’ Who ‘Loved So Many People & Was Loved by So Many People’

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Kelsey Tennant with her boyfriend, Riley Allen. (Facebook)

Kelsey Tennant had a sassy, stubborn side and the most contagious smile and laugh, her sister, Courtney Jefferson, told KJRH-TV.

“Everybody who met her never had a negative thing to say about her,” Jefferson told the news station. “She loved so many people, and was loved by so many people.”

Tennant was a recent graduate of Broken Arrow High School. She worked at Metro Appliances & More, according to her Facebook page.

She and her boyfriend, Riley Allen, had recently celebrated their second anniversary, her family said. They grew up together in Broken Arrow, about 20 minutes outside of Tulsa, and both performed with the Broken Arrow Pride band. Tennant was in the color guard.

Allen wrote on Facebook, “She will always be missed my sweet sweet princess I love you Kelsey Sue.”

Tennant’s sister told the news station, “Their relationship gave me hope that there are still some very special people out there. I know that he loved her very much and did anything for her.”

Jefferson told the news station her sister was adventurous and selfless, loved riding four-wheelers and go-karts, and often took care of her 2-year-old nephew, Jefferson’s son. She also went on many mission trips with her church.

“She was a special person,” Jefferson said. “Anybody that had the opportunity to meet her was very blessed.”

kelsey tennant facebook

(Facebook)

Jefferson wrote a heart-breaking Facebook post about her sister:

We are devastated to have to put this into words but my sister, Kelsey Tennant, went to Jesus last night. She went home from work yesterday for lunch and was robbed, strangled and left for dead. She was unconscious and not breathing. Her bf Riley Allen came as quick as he could because he knew something was wrong and was attacked as well. He is ok and my sister was admitted to the hospital yesterday. She fought hard like the stubborn self she is but she became an angel last night at 11:50pm. I sit here as I type this and wonder how you are supposed to post something like this. My mom and Dad and I are so thankful for everyone who has already reached out to us and thankful for all the prayers that went up last night. We know that she had people from across the nation praying for her and so many people that love and cherish her. Each time we received a text or knew people were praying, we made sure that she knew she was loved and people were fighting along with her spiritually. We are glad her sweet spirit is now with Jesus and the rest of our family that has passed before and most importantly that she is no longer suffering. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers as this next season/year/years will be extremely difficult for us. Life is so precious and sweet. Please take a moment, say a prayer for us, hug your loved ones close, and tell them you love them.

Tennant’s family is still planning her funeral. They said they are relying on the outpouring of support they have received from the community.

“It’s great because she’s an amazing human being and never deserved this,” Jefferson said through tears during her interview with KJRH-TV. “We are glad that she is now with Jesus and with all the other angels that have gone on before her.”

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Zach Peters: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Zachary Peters. (Facebook)

A 23-year-old Oklahoma man gunned down three teen burglars with an AR-15 rifle during a home invasion at his father’s house in Broken Arrow on Monday, police say.

Zachary Peters appears to have been acting in self defense when he killed the three intruders. They were wearing masks, were dressed in black and two of the three were armed, one with a knife and the other with brass knuckles, the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office says. The teens ranged in age from 16 to 18 or 19, police say. Peters was identified in court documents obtained by KTUL-TV.

Sources told KOTV said the teens killed in the shooting are Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn and Jake Woodruff.

A woman who told police she drove the three teens to the house and planned to be the getaway driver is facing three counts of first-degree felony murder. Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, 21, fled from the scene after hearing gunshots and later turned herself in at the Broken Arrow Police Department to give the officers the names of the dead teens, KOTV reports.

jacob redfearn, jake woodruff, max cook

Clockwise from top left: Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, Jacob Redfearn, Jake Woodruff and Max Cook. (Facebook)

Felony murder charges can be brought against someone who commits a felony resulting in death in Oklahoma regardless if they actually kill someone, according to state law. Rodriguez was also arrested on three counts of first-degree burglary.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Peters Woke Up to the Sound of the Break-In, Grabbed the AR-15 & Opened Fire on the Intruders After Exchanging Words

Zach Peters told police he woke up to “loud bangs” when the three intruders broke a glass door in the rear of the house, the Tulsa World reports.

He armed himself with an AR-15 rifle and opened fire on the trio when he confronted them in a hallway after they briefly exchanged words, police said. Two of the burglars died in the home’s kitchen, while a third escaped to the driveway, where he collapsed and died.

“They were dressed in black, all had masks on, and all had gloves on,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told reporters, adding that the initial investigation suggests the teens planned to burglarize the house. “There was a short exchange of words and then gunfire happened.”

Peters lives in the house on Clearview Drive in Broken Arrow with his father, the homeowner, and his mother.

Police responded to the home for a report of shots fired about 12:30 p.m., the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office said.

The 911 call made by Peters to report the shooting and break-in was released Wednesday.

“I shot two of them, now I am barricaded in my bedroom,” Peters said in the call. “I can hear one of them talking.”

Police said all three teens were killed when Peters fired at them with an AR-15 rifle. Two died in the kitchen and a third collapsed and died in the driveway outside.

You can listen to the call below:


A neighbor, Leon Simmons, told KTUL-TV he heard the gunfire.

“Well, I thought it was thunder, I just heard something, I had the doors closed,” Simmons told the news station.

“The shots were so loud — loud enough that I ran to the window to see what had happened,” another neighbor, who didn’t wish to give her name, told the Tulsa World. “Something in me knew it was gunshots, but I didn’t know what had happened until I went to leave my house and saw all the police officers.”

Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn & Jake Woodruff: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn and Jake Woodruff have been identified as the teens fatally shot after police say they broke into a home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

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2. The Woman Accused of Being the Getaway Driver Planned the Burglary & Knew Peters by Name, Police Say

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Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez.

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, the 21-year-old woman who admitted to being the getaway driver, is also accused of planning the burglary, KTUL-TV reports. According to court documents obtained by the news station, Rodriguez had prior knowledge about the house and knew Zachary Peters by his first name.

“Rodriguez planned the burglary and took the three suspects to the residence on two separate occasions on today’s date wanting to steal items,” police said in a probable cause affidavit. “Rodriguez instructed the three suspects to burglarize the residence while she waited in the driveway in her vehicle until she heard gunshots then fled the scene.”

According to court documents, Rodriguez turned herself in after seeing news of the shooting on TV because she wanted police to be able to tell the families of the three teens about what happened. She refused to give further information to investigators. But another witness has given police information, according to the court documents.

“We know somehow they have some acquaintance, but we don’t know how or why,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told the Tulsa World, of the relationship between Rodriguez and Peters.

Rodriguez is being held in jail without bail pending formal charges. Her arraignment was delayed on Tuesday because the investigation is continuing. She was arrested on probable cause, but the “matter is still under investigation,” prosecutors said.

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, 21, is accused of setting up a burglary that led to the shooting deaths of three teens, including her boyfriend, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Click here to read more


3. The District Attorney’s Office Will Determine if Charges Are Filed Against Peters

Zachary Peters volunteered to go to the Wagoner Sheriff’s Office to give a statement to investigators, KTUL-TV reports.

“Preliminary investigation, it looks like it was self-defense,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told the news station.

The case could fall under Oklahoma’s “Make My Day” law, which says a resident has the right to use deadly force if an intruder has entered or is entering the resident’s home, the Tulsa World reports.

The Wagoner County District Attorney’s office will decide if charges are filed against Peters.

“This matter is currently still under investigation. The district attorney’s office is in consult with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office for advice on this matter and will continue to work with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office in this matter,” First District Attorney Jack Thorp said Tuesday at a press conference. “We do not anticipate filing formal charges until possibly later in this week or early next week.

“At that time there will be a final decision,” Thorp told reporters. “I know there’s questions that have been posed regarding ‘Stand Your Ground’ law as well as the application of the felony murder rule. We hope to hope to answers those questions with our formal filing decision when we reach that decision.”

Thorp said “there’s a lot of things to look at in this case.”

When asked about possible charges against Peters, Thorp said, “at this time, all charges and all the information is going to be reviewed.”

Thorp said, “This is obviously a triple homicide, and so we want to make sure that we cross all of our t’s and dot all of our i’s and insure that we have the maximum amount of information before we make formal decisions. It is complex.”

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4. Peters Works at a Local Airline & Is a Criminal Justice Student at Tulsa Community College

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Zachary Peters. (Facebook)

Zach Peters works at Omni Air International, a local airline, as a crew schedule, according to his Linkedin profile. He also works at QuickFlight Services at Tulsa International Airport as an operations agent, he says on Linkedin.

He is a student at Tulsa Community College, where he is pursuing an associate’s degree in criminal justice. He is set to graduate this year.

Peters graduated from Broken Arrow High School in 2014.

“I have work experience in both retail and aviation with customer service experience in both fields. I also have my private pilot’s license, and studied the German language for four years,” he says on Linkedin.

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5. Neighbors Say There Have Been Numerous Burglaries Recently in Peters’ Normally Quiet Neighborhood

Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Nick Mahoney said a triple homicide is extremely rare in the quiet county.

“This is not something that happens frequently here,” Mahoney told KJRH-TV. “We don’t generally have triple shootings inside Wagoner County. This is a very nice neighborhood and the neighbors have all been concerned. It’s not something that happens.”

But neighbors say there have been numerous burglaries in the area in recent weeks and reported other suspicious activity.

“Within the past six months we’ve had two or three burglaries out here,” Leon Simmons, a neighbor, told KTUL-TV. Police say they haven’t connected Monday’s incident to any other break-ins.

“We’ve noticed a lot more people driving slow through the neighborhood, more than one at a time,” Simmons told KOTV.

Another neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified, told the Tulsa World she saw a suspicious black truck in the neighborhood, near where the burglary occurred on Monday, in the hours leading up to the incident.

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A 41-year-old man previously suspected in two murders is accused of strangling 19-year-old Kelsey Tennant during a burglary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn & Jake Woodruff: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn and Jake Woodruff were killed in the incident in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. (Facebook)

Three Oklahoma teens were fatally shot after police say they broke into a home in Broken Arrow and were confronted by the homeowner’s 23-year-old son, who had armed himself with an AR-15 rifle.

Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn and Jaykob “Jake” Woodruff, who range in age from 15 to 18 or 19, were killed in the botched burglary attempt, KOTV reports.

The homeowner’s son, identified in court documents as Zach Peters, was not injured. He is not facing charges and the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office said it appears he was acting in self defense.

A 21-year-old woman was arrested after she admitted to police she dropped the three teens off at Peters’ home and was supposed to be their getaway driver. Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, of Collinsville, told police she fled after hearing gunshots.

She was arrested on suspicion of three counts of felony murder. Felony murder charges can be brought against someone who commits a felony resulting in death in Oklahoma regardless if they actually kill someone, according to state law. Rodriguez was also arrested on three counts of first-degree burglary.

The burglary occurred on the afternoon of March 27, police said.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. The Teens Smashed a Glass Window & Entered the House Wearing Black Clothes, Masks & Gloves Before They Were Shot Dead, Police Say

Zach Peters told police he woke up to “loud bangs” when the three intruders broke a glass door in the rear of the house, the Tulsa World reports.

He armed himself with an AR-15 rifle and confronted the teens in a hallway. After they briefly exchanged words, he opened fire on the trio, identified as Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn and Jake Woodruff, police said. Two of the burglars died in the home’s kitchen, while a third escaped to the driveway, where he collapsed and died.

“They were dressed in black, all had masks on, and all had gloves on,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told reporters, adding that the initial investigation suggests the teens planned to burglarize the house. “There was a short exchange of words and then gunfire happened.”

Peters lives in the house on Clearview Drive in Broken Arrow with his father, the homeowner, and his mother.

Police responded to the home for a report of shots fired about 12:30 p.m., the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office said.

The 911 call made by Peters to report the shooting and break-in was released Wednesday.

“I shot two of them, now I am barricaded in my bedroom,” Peters said in the call. “I can hear one of them talking.”

Police said all three teens were killed when Peters fired at them with an AR-15 rifle. Two died in the kitchen and a third collapsed and died in the driveway outside.

You can listen to the call below:


A neighbor, Leon Simmons, told KTUL-TV he heard the gunfire.

“Well, I thought it was thunder, I just heard something, I had the doors closed,” Simmons told the news station.

“The shots were so loud — loud enough that I ran to the window to see what had happened,” another neighbor, who didn’t wish to give her name, told the Tulsa World. “Something in me knew it was gunshots, but I didn’t know what had happened until I went to leave my house and saw all the police officers.”

Zachary Peters volunteered to go to the Wagoner Sheriff’s Office to give a statement to investigators, KTUL-TV reports.

“Preliminary investigation, it looks like it was self-defense,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told the news station.

The case could fall under Oklahoma’s “Make My Day” law, which says a resident has the right to use deadly force if an intruder has entered or is entering the resident’s home, the Tulsa World reports.

The Wagoner County District Attorney’s office will decide if charges are filed against Peters.

“This matter is currently still under investigation. The district attorney’s office is in consult with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office for advice on this matter and will continue to work with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office in this matter,” First District Attorney Jack Thorp said Tuesday at a press conference. “We do not anticipate filing formal charges until possibly later in this week or early next week.

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Zachary Peters. (Facebook)

“At that time there will be a final decision,” Thorp told reporters. “I know there’s questions that have been posed regarding ‘Stand Your Ground’ law as well as the application of the felony murder rule. We hope to hope to answers those questions with our formal filing decision when we reach that decision.”

Thorp said “there’s a lot of things to look at in this case.”

When asked about possible charges against Peters, Thorp said, “at this time, all charges and all the information is going to be reviewed.”

Thorp said, “This is obviously a triple homicide, and so we want to make sure that we cross all of our t’s and dot all of our i’s and insure that we have the maximum amount of information before we make formal decisions. It is complex.”

You can read more about Peters at the link below:

Zach Peters: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A 23-year-old man gunned down three burglars with an AR-15 rifle after the trio broke into his father’s home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, police say.

Click here to read more


2. The Getaway Driver Is Accused of Planning the Burglary & Police Say She Knew the Homeowner’s Son

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Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez.

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, the 21-year-old woman who admitted to being the getaway driver, is also accused of planning the burglary, KTUL-TV reports. According to court documents obtained by the news station, Rodriguez had prior knowledge about the house and knew Zachary Peters by his first name.

“Rodriguez planned the burglary and took the three suspects to the residence on two separate occasions on today’s date wanting to steal items,” police said in a probable cause affidavit. “Rodriguez instructed the three suspects to burglarize the residence while she waited in the driveway in her vehicle until she heard gunshots then fled the scene.”

According to court documents, Rodriguez turned herself in after seeing news of the shooting on TV because she wanted police to be able to tell the families of the three teens about what happened. She refused to give further information to investigators. But another witness has given police information, according to the court documents.

“We know somehow they have some acquaintance, but we don’t know how or why,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told the Tulsa World, of the relationship between Rodriguez and Peters.

Rodriguez is being held in jail without bail pending formal charges. Her arraignment was delayed on Tuesday because the investigation is continuing. She was arrested on probable cause, but the “matter is still under investigation,” prosecutors said.

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, 21, is accused of setting up a burglary that led to the shooting deaths of three teens, including her boyfriend, in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

Click here to read more


3. Cook Was Dating Rodriguez & Was From Owasso

max cook, max cook elizabeth rodriguez

Max Cook and Elizabeth “Liz” Rodriguez in a photo posted to Rodriguez’s Facebook page on March 19.

Max Cook was dating Elizabeth Rodriguez, according to his Facebook page. It is not known how he knew the other two teens involved in the burglary. He was friends with Jacob Redfearn, but not Jake Woodruff, on Facebook.

According to his Facebook page, Cook went to Owasso High School and was from Owasso, Oklahoma. He lived in Tulsa.

He worked at Taco Bueno, according to his Facebook profile.

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4. Redfearn Was a Student at Collinsville High School & a Friend Said He Was ‘Happy Go Lucky & Always Had a Smile on His Face’

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Jacob Redfearn. (Facebook)

Jacob Redfearn went to Collinsville High School and was a native of Collinsville, according to his Facebook page.

A teen who called himself an “old friend” of Redfearn wrote on Facebook, “it really sucks when someone makes one bad decision and their life is over with.”

John Thompson III continued, “He was always happy go lucky and always had a smile on his face even when he was down. R.I.P. and fly high buddy. Please watch over your brothers and your family. I know they taking it really hard right now.”

Thompson posted photos of Redfearn to his Facebook page and said Redfearn “was murdered” when someone asked who he was. Redfearn’s brother, Jordan, replied, “He wasn’t murdedhe made a bad decision that cost him his life unfortunately.”

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5. Woodruff’s Sister Says He Was ‘Only 15’ & Did ‘Something Wrong,’ but Was a ‘Sweet, Kind-Hearted Boy’

jake woodruff, jaykob woodruff

Jake Woodruff in a photo posted to his Facebook page just hours before his death.

Jaykob Woodruff was a student at Owasso High School, according to his Facebook page.

“So for everyone who wants to be negative about this needs to remember the sweet kind hearted boy,” his sister, Kendra, wrote on Facebook. “He would give you the shirt off his back no matter if it was cold outside. His friends meant the world to him no matter if they were good or bad. He was only 15. I know what he did was wrong I’m not saying it’s not but please be positive for his friends and family we love him and will always miss him.”

Keira Ellison wrote on Facebook that a candelight vigil will be held for the three teens on Friday at 8 p.m. at Owasso High School.

“Bring your own candle, everything else is provided,” she wrote. “Please absolutely no negativity.”

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A 41-year-old man previously suspected in two murders is accused of strangling 19-year-old Kelsey Tennant during a burglary in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Click here to read more

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Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Elizabeth Rodriguez.

A 21-year-old Oklahoma woman could face felony murder charges after police say she set up a burglary at a home in Broken Arrow that led to the shooting deaths of three teens.

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez turned herself in to police after the teens, Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn and Jake Woodruff, were shot dead by the homeowner’s son, 23-year-old Zach Peters, who armed himself with an AR-15 and gunned down the intruders Monday afternoon.

jacob redfearn, jake woodruff, max cook

Clockwise from top left: Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, Jacob Redfearn, Jake Woodruff and Max Cook. (Facebook)

Rodriguez is being held without bail pending formal charges being filed against her. In addition to planning the burglary, police are accusing Rodriguez of being the getaway driver for the teens.

Felony murder charges can be brought against someone who commits a felony resulting in death in Oklahoma regardless if they actually kill someone, according to state law. Rodriguez was also arrested on three counts of first-degree burglary.

Here’s what you need to know:


1. Rodriguez Told Police She Fled From the Scene After Hearing Gunshots While Waiting Outside

Zach Peters told police he woke up to “loud bangs” when the three intruders broke a glass door in the rear of the house, the Tulsa World reports.

He armed himself with an AR-15 rifle and opened fire on the trio when he confronted them in a hallway after they briefly exchanged words, police said. Two of the burglars died in the home’s kitchen, while a third escaped to the driveway, where he collapsed and died.

“They were dressed in black, all had masks on, and all had gloves on,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told reporters, adding that the initial investigation suggests the teens planned to burglarize the house. “There was a short exchange of words and then gunfire happened.”

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Zachary Peters. (Facebook)

Peters lives in the house on Clearview Drive in Broken Arrow with his father, the homeowner, and his mother.

Police responded to the home for a report of shots fired about 12:30 p.m., the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office said.

The 911 call made by Peters to report the shooting and break-in was released Wednesday.

“I shot two of them, now I am barricaded in my bedroom,” Peters said in the call. “I can hear one of them talking.”

Police said all three teens were killed when Peters fired at them with an AR-15 rifle. Two died in the kitchen and a third collapsed and died in the driveway outside.

You can listen to the call below:


A neighbor, Leon Simmons, told KTUL-TV he heard the gunfire.

“Well, I thought it was thunder, I just heard something, I had the doors closed,” Simmons told the news station.

“The shots were so loud — loud enough that I ran to the window to see what had happened,” another neighbor, who didn’t wish to give her name, told the Tulsa World. “Something in me knew it was gunshots, but I didn’t know what had happened until I went to leave my house and saw all the police officers.”

Zachary Peters volunteered to go to the Wagoner Sheriff’s Office to give a statement to investigators, KTUL-TV reports.

“Preliminary investigation, it looks like it was self-defense,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told the news station.

The case could fall under Oklahoma’s “Make My Day” law, which says a resident has the right to use deadly force if an intruder has entered or is entering the resident’s home, the Tulsa World reports.

The Wagoner County District Attorney’s office will decide if charges are filed against Peters.

Zach Peters: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A 23-year-old man gunned down three burglars with an AR-15 rifle after the trio broke into his father’s home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, police say.

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2. Police Say Rodriguez Knew Peters by Name & Brought the 3 Teens to the House to ‘Steal Items’

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Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez.

Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, the 21-year-old woman who admitted to being the getaway driver, is also accused of planning the burglary, KTUL-TV reports. According to court documents obtained by the news station, Rodriguez had prior knowledge about the house and knew Zachary Peters by his first name.

“Rodriguez planned the burglary and took the three suspects to the residence on two separate occasions on today’s date wanting to steal items,” police said in a probable cause affidavit. “Rodriguez instructed the three suspects to burglarize the residence while she waited in the driveway in her vehicle until she heard gunshots then fled the scene.”

According to court documents, Rodriguez turned herself in after seeing news of the shooting on TV because she wanted police to be able to tell the families of the three teens about what happened. She refused to give further information to investigators. But another witness has given police information, according to the court documents.

“We know somehow they have some acquaintance, but we don’t know how or why,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told the Tulsa World, of the relationship between Rodriguez and Peters.

Rodriguez is being held in jail without bail pending formal charges. Her arraignment was delayed on Tuesday because the investigation is continuing. She was arrested on probable cause, but the “matter is still under investigation,” prosecutors said.

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Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn and Jake Woodruff have been identified as the teens fatally shot after police say they broke into a home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

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3. Rodriguez Was in a Relationship With One of the Slain Teens, Max Cook

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Max Cook and Elizabeth “Liz” Rodriguez in a photo posted to Rodriguez’s Facebook page on March 19.

One of the teens killed, Max Cook, was dating Elizabeth Rodriguez, according to his Facebook page. It is not known how he knew the other two teens involved in the burglary. He was friends with Jacob Redfearn, but not Jake Woodruff, on Facebook.

According to his Facebook page, Cook went to Owasso High School and was from Owasso, Oklahoma. He lived in Tulsa.

Jacob Redfearn went to Collinsville High School and was a native of Collinsville, according to his Facebook page.

A teen who called himself an “old friend” of Redfearn wrote on Facebook, “it really sucks when someone makes one bad decision and their life is over with.”

John Thompson III continued, “He was always happy go lucky and always had a smile on his face even when he was down. R.I.P. and fly high buddy. Please watch over your brothers and your family. I know they taking it really hard right now.”

Thompson posted photos of Redfearn to his Facebook page and said Redfearn “was murdered” when someone asked who he was. Redfearn’s brother, Jordan, replied, “He wasn’t murdedhe made a bad decision that cost him his life unfortunately.”

Jaykob Woodruff was a student at Owasso High School, according to his Facebook page.

“So for everyone who wants to be negative about this needs to remember the sweet kind hearted boy,” his sister, Kendra, wrote on Facebook. “He would give you the shirt off his back no matter if it was cold outside. His friends meant the world to him no matter if they were good or bad. He was only 15. I know what he did was wrong I’m not saying it’s not but please be positive for his friends and family we love him and will always miss him.”

Keira Ellison wrote on Facebook that a candelight vigil will be held for the three teens on Friday at 8 p.m. at Owasso High School.

“Bring your own candle, everything else is provided,” she wrote. “Please absolutely no negativity.”

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4. She Is the Mother of 3 Children & a Graduate of Ooloagh High School Originally From California

Elizabeth Rodriguez. (Facebook)

Elizabeth Rodriguez, who goes by Liz Rodriguez on Facebook and is named as Elizabeth Kohler in some public records, is the mother of three young children, according to her Facebook page.

She attended Ooloagh High School and is originally from Modesto, California, she says on Facebook.

In her “About Me” section, she writes, “😍B.A.D😍; Mommy to three little monsters; beautiful crazy disaster; living it day by day.”

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5. The District Attorney’s Office Says It Is Waiting for a Full Investigation Before Filing Formal Charges

The District Attorney’s Office said formal charges could be filed by the end of this week or early next week.

“This matter is currently still under investigation. The district attorney’s office is in consult with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office for advice on this matter and will continue to work with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office in this matter,” First District Attorney Jack Thorp said Tuesday at a press conference.

“At that time there will be a final decision,” Thorp told reporters. “I know there’s questions that have been posed regarding ‘Stand Your Ground’ law as well as the application of the felony murder rule. We hope to hope to answers those questions with our formal filing decision when we reach that decision.”

Thorp said “there’s a lot of things to look at in this case.”

When asked about possible charges against Peters, Thorp said, “at this time, all charges and all the information is going to be reviewed.”

Thorp said, “This is obviously a triple homicide, and so we want to make sure that we cross all of our t’s and dot all of our i’s and insure that we have the maximum amount of information before we make formal decisions. It is complex.”

Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Deputy Nick Mahoney said a triple homicide is extremely rare in the quiet county.

“This is not something that happens frequently here,” Mahoney told KJRH-TV. “We don’t generally have triple shootings inside Wagoner County. This is a very nice neighborhood and the neighbors have all been concerned. It’s not something that happens.”

But neighbors say there have been numerous burglaries in the area in recent weeks and reported other suspicious activity.

“Within the past six months we’ve had two or three burglaries out here,” Leon Simmons, a neighbor, told KTUL-TV. Police say they haven’t connected Monday’s incident to any other break-ins.

“We’ve noticed a lot more people driving slow through the neighborhood, more than one at a time,” Simmons told KOTV.

Another neighbor, who didn’t want to be identified, told the Tulsa World she saw a suspicious black truck in the neighborhood, near where the burglary occurred on Monday, in the hours leading up to the incident.

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LISTEN: Oklahoma Man Calls 911 After Shooting Teen Burglars

Zachary Peters. (Facebook)

An Oklahoma man who fatally shot three teen burglars Monday after they broke into his father’s house in Broken Arrow told 911 dispatchers he thought he shot two of the intruders before barricading himself inside a bedroom.

The 911 call made after the shooting by Zachary Peters, a 23-year-old criminal justice student and airline employee, was released Wednesday by the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office.

“I’ve just been broken into. Three men, two I’ve shot in my house,” Peters tells the dispatcher, telling her he thinks they’re bleeding. “I believe one’s down, one’s still talking. You need to get here now.”

Peters was on the phone with the dispatcher for about 7 minutes as sheriff’s deputies responded to the shooting.

“I shot two of them and now I’m barricaded in my bedroom,” Peters said. “They broke in the back door. I can hear one of them talking.”

Police said all three teens were killed when Peters fired at them with an AR-15 rifle. Two died in the kitchen and a third collapsed and died in the driveway outside.

You can listen to the call below:



Max Cook, Jacob Redfearn and Jake Woodruff were killed in the shooting.

A woman who told police she drove the three teens to the house and planned to be the getaway driver is facing three counts of first-degree felony murder. Elizabeth Marie Rodriguez, 21, fled from the scene after hearing gunshots and later turned herself in at the Broken Arrow Police Department to give the officers the names of the dead teens, KOTV reports.

The sheriff’s office said Peters heard a “loud bang” as the teens broke through a glass door at the back of his house. He then armed himself with the AR-15 rifle and confronted the intruders in a hallway. He was not injured.

Two of the teens were armed, one with brass knuckles and another with a knife, police said.

“They were dressed in black, all had masks on, and all had gloves on,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told reporters, adding that the initial investigation suggests the teens planned to burglarize the house. “There was a short exchange of words and then gunfire happened.”

Rodriguez, the 21-year-old woman who admitted to being the getaway driver, is also accused of planning the burglary, KTUL-TV reports. According to court documents obtained by the news station, Rodriguez had prior knowledge about the house and knew Zachary Peters by his first name.

“Rodriguez planned the burglary and took the three suspects to the residence on two separate occasions on today’s date wanting to steal items,” police said in a probable cause affidavit. “Rodriguez instructed the three suspects to burglarize the residence while she waited in the driveway in her vehicle until she heard gunshots then fled the scene.”


According to court documents, Rodriguez turned herself in after seeing news of the shooting on TV because she wanted police to be able to tell the families of the three teens about what happened. She refused to give further information to investigators. But another witness has given police information, according to the court documents.

“We know somehow they have some acquaintance, but we don’t know how or why,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told the Tulsa World, of the relationship between Rodriguez and Peters.

Rodriguez is being held in jail without bail pending formal charges. Her arraignment was delayed on Tuesday because the investigation is continuing. She was arrested on probable cause, but the “matter is still under investigation,” prosecutors said.


Peters volunteered to go to the Wagoner Sheriff’s Office to give a statement to investigators, KTUL-TV reports.

“Preliminary investigation, it looks like it was self-defense,” Deputy Nick Mahoney told the news station.

The case could fall under Oklahoma’s “Make My Day” law, which says a resident has the right to use deadly force if an intruder has entered or is entering the resident’s home, the Tulsa World reports.

The Wagoner County District Attorney’s office will decide if charges are filed against Peters.

“This matter is currently still under investigation. The district attorney’s office is in consult with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office for advice on this matter and will continue to work with the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office in this matter,” First District Attorney Jack Thorp said Tuesday at a press conference. “We do not anticipate filing formal charges until possibly later in this week or early next week.

“At that time there will be a final decision,” Thorp told reporters. “I know there’s questions that have been posed regarding ‘Stand Your Ground’ law as well as the application of the felony murder rule. We hope to hope to answers those questions with our formal filing decision when we reach that decision.”

Thorp said “there’s a lot of things to look at in this case.”

When asked about possible charges against Peters, Thorp said, “at this time, all charges and all the information is going to be reviewed.”

Thorp said, “This is obviously a triple homicide, and so we want to make sure that we cross all of our t’s and dot all of our i’s and insure that we have the maximum amount of information before we make formal decisions. It is complex.”

Zach Peters: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

A 23-year-old man gunned down three burglars with an AR-15 rifle after the trio broke into his father’s home in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, police say.

Click here to read more

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Elizabeth Thomas & Tad Cummins Sighting Update

Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas at an Oklahoma Walmart. (TBI)

Tennessee authorities hunting for a missing teacher and his student say there’s been a confirmed sighting of the pair at an Oklahoma City Walmart.

They also say that teacher Tad Cummins and student Elizabeth Thomas appear to have dyed their hair – with Thomas now having red hair. The tip came in on March 30, just over two weeks after Cummins and Thomas were captured on video at the Walmart. Authorities – who have launched an aggressive manhunt for the pair – are trying to figure out which car they drove there. It’s not clear whether the Tennessee teacher and student are still in Oklahoma.

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released a series of new photos on March 31 that they say is high school health teacher Cummins and freshman Thomas. It’s the first confirmed sighting of Thomas and Cummins; the day before, in Tennessee, there was another reported sighting, but it was later declared false.

elizabeth thomas sighting, elizabeth thomas wal-mart

Elizabeth Thomas at the Walmart. (TBI)

Here’s how they looked before vanishing:

tad cummins photo, elizabeth thomas photo

Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas. (TBI and Twitter photos)

“Investigators obtained surveillance images from a Walmart on East I-240 Service Road in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma from the afternoon of March 15th, showing Tad Cummins and Elizabeth Thomas shopping at the store,” the TBI wrote in an update to its Amber Alert in the Thomas case. “Cummins used cash to purchase various food items, but did not purchase anything else of significance.”

tad cummins sighting, tad cummins photo

Cummins and Thomas. (TBI)

Cummins, 50, and Thomas, 15, have been on the run since mid March, when they vanished in the midst of an investigation into a complaint that Cummins, who has now been fired, was seen kissing Thomas in a classroom. Cummins taught at Culleoka High School in Tennessee. Cummins’ wife, Jill, has publicly urged her husband to return the teen.

Before they vanished, both Cummins and Thomas made extensive posts about love on Instagram, although the teen mixed her love posts with those about depression and even death. Authorities say that Thomas was abused in the home. Thomas calls herself “wife” on Instagram, and posted a graphic from Beauty and the Beast around the time she vanished that says “every beauty needs her beast to protect her from everything but him.”

elizabeth thomas missing, elizabeth thomas photos

Elizabeth Thomas’ father took to Twitter and posted several photos of his missing daughter, including this one. The father urged his daughter to come home and asked for the public’s help in finding her. (Twitter)

According to the TBI, “Thomas is a 15-year-old white female, with hazel eyes, stands 5’0” and weighs 120 pounds. She was last seen wearing a flannel shirt and black leggings. Cummins is a white male, who stands 6’0”, weighs approximately 200 pounds, and has brown hair and eyes.”

tad cummins photo, tad cummins sighting

Tad Cummins on March 15. (TBI)

Authorities say they believe Cummins is “armed with two handguns and driving a silver Nissan Rogue with Tennessee tag 976-ZPT. A warrant has been issued for Cummins for Sexual Contact with a Minor and Aggravated Kidnapping. On Friday, the TBI added him to the state’s ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list. There is a $1,000 reward for information leading to his capture.”

As of March 31, the TBI, says it has received more than 1,200 tips from across the country. “The TBI would urge the public to remain vigilant and report any information that may prove beneficial in the ongoing search to 1-800-TBI-FIND. If you spot the vehicle and can verify the license plate to be TN 976-ZPT, call 911 immediately,” the authorities say.

tad cummins photo

On March 20, one week after Cummins and Thomas disappeared, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation released this photo of Cummins. It was taken shortly before he vanished. The teacher and student were still on the run. The Walmart pictures, taken after this one, indicate he has tried to alter his appearance by darkening his hair. (TBI)

Authorities accused Cummins of grooming Thomas for abuse by playing on her problems at home. According to WSMV, Thomas was home schooled until her freshman year of high school. The television station quoted the local district attorney as saying her home life was a troubled one.

The television station reported that “police arrested Elizabeth’s mother, Kimberly Thomas, last year. She was charged with five counts of child abuse and neglect. According to court documents, Kimberly Thomas beat Elizabeth and four of her siblings.”

Read more about the social media posts of Cummins and Thomas here:

READ: Elizabeth Thomas & Tad Cummins Social Media Posts

Elizabeth Thomas and Tad Cummins posted on Instagram before the student and teacher went missing. Learn about their social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more

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