Cold case suspect claims he was 'high' during confession

An Oklahoma man who confessed to the long-unsolved murder of a Haskell County commissioner said he admitted to the slaying when he was “drunk and high on painkillers” and that everything he told investigators was a lie.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: April 19, 2013 at 8:45 pm •  Published: April 20, 2013
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“Eagle is actually innocent because the conduct underlying his conviction was not a crime at the time he engaged in it,” the motion states.

Eagle claims he went to the Billings police station to try and file a complaint against the “United States government.”

“When I was released, I was told that if I wanted to file a civil claim ... I had to go back to the county I was sentenced in,” Eagle wrote.

Once back in Yellowstone County, Montana, he said “two men” approached him outside of the federal courthouse in Billings.

“I don't know if (they were) U.S. Marshal or FBI,” Eagle wrote. “But this is what was said, If I keep up my pursuance in filing my civil claim against the U.S. Government, they were going to bring up my criminal past which included the grand jury indictment ... in the Leo Reasnor case.”

Eagle said he was “drunk and high on painkillers” while Billings detectives interviewed him. He claims the investigators eventually forced the confession out of him.

“The confession was coerced by the Billings Police Department after I went to them for help,” Eagle wrote in a separate letter to The Oklahoman, which was dated June 12.

“I just wanted to let them know that the federal authorities were planning to file false accusations against me in retaliation for trying to file a civil suit claim against the federal government.”

Eagle is currently being held at the Haskell county jail after fighting extradition from Montana. His trial is set to begin Aug. 5.

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by Andrew Knittle
Investigative Reporter
Andrew Knittle has covered state water issues, tribal concerns and major criminal proceedings during his career as an Oklahoma journalist. He has won reporting awards from the state's Associated Press bureau and prides himself on finding a real...
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