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Oklahoma cold case murder suspect is mentally competent and will stand trial, judge rules

A suspect in a 25-year-old cold case murder is mentally competent and will face trial in the shooting death of former Haskell County Commissioner Leo Reasnor, a judge ruled Monday.
by Andrew Knittle Published: March 19, 2013
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— A suspect in a 25-year-old cold case murder is mentally competent and will face trial in the shooting death of former Haskell County Commissioner Leo Reasnor, a judge ruled Monday.

Clifford Eagle, 55, has been jailed since April after he walked into a police station in Billings, Mont., and confessed to killing Reasnor.

Eagle, a convicted rapist with a lengthy criminal history in Oklahoma, is now scheduled to be arraigned April 8.

Eagle was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing in January, but prosecutors and his defense attorney filed a joint motion to have his mental health evaluated before the hearing could take place.

Haskell County District Attorney Farley Ward said the defendant's attorneys suggested a mental health evaluation.

Reasnor was found dead inside his pickup on June 25, 1987, by his son and son-in-law.

Reasnor had a gunshot wound to the temple and was found slumped over in his truck on some land he owned about four miles southwest of Lequire.

His slaying remained a mystery for nearly a quarter decade before Eagle walked into a police station in Billings, Mont., and confessed to the killing.

Billings police say Eagle — who is from Oklahoma — walked into their station in April and told them he wanted to get “something off his chest.”

Eagle would go on to tell investigators he and another man, Vince Allen Johnson, were on a county road in Haskell County when they encountered Reasnor, who was 49.

He said Reasnor accused Johnson of “stealing some of his property” a few moments before the county commissioner was shot dead.

Johnson was executed in 2001 for another slaying in Oklahoma.

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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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