'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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Mashburn indicated that Reed's testimony may have led to the deal with Battenfield.

“I'm frustrated with the situation, frustrated with how the preliminary hearing went, but in the end, we're stuck with the cards we're dealt and the evidence that we have,” he said. “We felt that based on the strength of the case that this was going to be resolution to the case.”

Battenfield, who was convicted of murders in New Mexico and Texas prior his guilty plea Wednesday, was described by criminal profiler Greg McCrary as a serial killer.

“In general, the rule is three murders ... plus a cooling-off period ... means the guy is a serial killer,” McCrary said.

“If somebody has three murder convictions and they've been arrested for a fourth, you can classify them as a serial killer.”

Victim known to be generous

Pollard was a retired social worker with ties to the University of Oklahoma. Before that, he was a longtime resident of Maine.

Friends and family members described Pollard as a generous man who often reached out to those in need.

None of Pollard's family members gave a victim impact statement following Battenfield's guilty plea, although the judge offered to let them do so.

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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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