'Serial killer' pleads guilty to killing Norman man, gets life without parole

A man described by a criminal profiler as a serial killer pleaded guilty Wednesday to the November stabbing death of retired social worker Clair Owen Pollard.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: September 5, 2012 at 9:26 pm •  Published: September 5, 2012
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— A man described by a criminal profiler as a serial killer pleaded guilty Wednesday to the November stabbing death of retired social worker Clair Owen Pollard.

Billy Dean Battenfield, who had been convicted of three murders before Wednesday, was sentenced by a Cleveland County judge to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In court, the 59-year-old Battenfield confirmed that a signed statement about his involvement in the slaying was true.

The statement indicated he assisted an accomplice, Brandon Reed, but that he wasn't the aggressor in the killing.

Reed, who testified against Battenfield in July, gave a conflicting account of what happened the night Pollard was killed.

Pollard, who was 80, died of multiple stab wounds and was severely beaten before he died. Reed also testified that he tried to suffocate the victim but failed.

District Attorney Greg Mashburn, who had been seeking the death penalty before Battenfield's guilty plea, expressed some disappointment with the deal.

“I'm satisfied with the outcome and I know he's going to be locked up and die in prison,” Mashburn said. “It's just not going to be as soon as we'd all like for it to happen.”

Prosecutors had reached a deal with Reed before Battenfield's July 12 preliminary hearing.

Reed, 20, testified against his accomplice that day, but his credibility was thrown into question when he admitted — during his testimony — that he was hallucinating and often saw dead people.

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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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