Suspect in Oklahoma cold case to have mental health evaluated, judge orders

An Oklahoma man accused in the long-unsolved shooting death of former Haskell County Commissioner Leo Reasnor will have his mental health evaluated before moving forward in his murder proceedings.
by Andrew Knittle Modified: January 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm •  Published: January 18, 2013
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— A man accused in the long-unsolved shooting death of former Haskell County Commissioner Leo Reasnor will have his mental health evaluated before moving forward in his murder trial.

Clifford Eagle, a convicted rapist and longtime resident of southeastern Oklahoma, confessed to killing Reasnor in April, court records show.

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

The defendant was scheduled to have a preliminary hearing Thursday — which could have resulted in a judge ordering him to stand trial on the murder charge — but it was rescheduled in the days leading up to the hearing.

Ward said a joint motion calling for an evaluation of Eagle's mental competency was filed Wednesday and signed by a judge.

Eagle will now be observed by state psychiatrists, who will determine whether the 55-year-old felon is fit to stand trial.

Reasnor was found dead inside his pickup on June 25, 1987, by his son and son-in-law. He 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 and has a lengthy criminal history in the state — 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.

Weeks after he confessed to detectives in Montana, Eagle wrote a letter to The Oklahoman claiming his confession was coerced.

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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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