Someone Take The Wheel
7.06.2004
  Dear Editor,
The release of and absence of charges against Terry Badgewell in the
brutal killing of Dead Town Tavern owner Shawn Howard and the beating of
manager Josh Martin is an abhorrent miscarriage of justice. District
Attorney Tim Harris has blatantly misrepresented the facts presented to the
Tulsa public. He has also essentially ignored the witness statement of Josh
Martin in favor of a mentally unstable and volatile, convicted felon.
While I wasn't a direct witness (I was waiting at the establishment
for the two men to return when the attack happened), I was there to see the
obscene level of brutality perpetrated upon Shawn Howard and Josh Martin. There is no
doubt in my mind that Badgewell should be charged and prosecuted for the
violent crimes he's committed against Howard and Martin.
Mr. Harris went to the media and publicly passed judgment on a case
that should be decided by a jury. In this case, there is ample evidence to
make a case for manslaughter. The police that I have talked have said that
Badgewell would not have been arrested if they thought he had not committed
a crime. Also, many mental health advocates at the Tulsa Day Center for the
homeless, where Badgewell was arrested after the crime, believe that
Badgewell should be prosecuted for manslaughter.
Harris has blamed the victims in this crime by making the insensitive
remark, "A man has a right to defend himself." Yes, Mr. Harris, he
does. But a man does not have a right to beat a man to death when he is
unconscious and obviously not a threat to anyone. A man also doesn't have a
right to try to gouge out yet another man's eyes, choke him, and hit him
over and over again on his head with a steel pipe, attempting to murder him.
Especially while that man is trying to talk the person out of fighting,
which is exactly what Josh Martin was doing when he was being attacked by
Terry Badgewell.
Also, this was not a random assault on a homeless person, as has been
implied by Mr. Harris and portrayed by some media outlets. Shawn Howard and Josh Martin
were chasing a known crack dealer off the property, and they were on the way
back to the business establishment when they were confronted by Badgewell in
a lot behind an adjacent building. Again, Mr. Harris has obviously chosen to
ignore and misrepresent the facts of this case.
The city has done little, if anything, to make the Brady district a
safer place for visitors and business owners. The chilling effect of this
brutal crime has already harmed the historic downtown district. The fact
that Mr. Harris refuses to press charges in this case can only make the
situation worse. It may take years for the area to recover, if ever.
Howard worked for years to get the city to install better street
lighting in the area. And to get the lights that were there turned on and/or
fixed. It was pitch black behind the building where the attack took place,
and Howard and Martin carried brass knuckles for self defense. It's dark,
and dangerous and unstable people have confronted Shawn Howard and Martin late at
night before. However, that doesn't mean that Shawn Howard and Martin were wearing
the brass knuckles when they were attacked, as Mr. Harris has also falsely
told the media and the public. Martin didn't even have a chance to get to
them before he was brutally attacked. In fact, many of Martin's injuries are
obviously defense wounds. And, Shawn Howard was attacked while he was already
unconscious. However, Badgewell had no visible injuries and fled the scene
on foot, leaving one man for dead and another severely injured.
The city lost an upstanding, kind, responsible, generous, intelligent
and valuable member of the community when Howard was beaten to death. A lot
of us, including Martin, lost a best friend.
Shawn Howard needs his chance at justice. So does the city of Tulsa.
What the public needs to do is tell Mr. Harris that upstanding,
taxpaying, voting citizens believe that a dangerous, violent, unstable man
needs to be taken off the streets so he can't do this to someone else:
Badgewell needs to be prosecuted.
To get involved to help make Tulsa safer and to voice your opinion in
the Shawn Howard and Josh Martin beating cases and the prosecution of Terry
Badgewell, please contact: District Attorney Tim Harris (596-4864,
tharris@tulsacounty.org), his boss State Attorney General Drew Edmondson
(581-2885 or 405-521-3921, fax 405-522-4534), Tulsa Mayor Bill LaFortune's
Mayor's Action Center (596-2100, MAC@cityoftulsa.org), the Citizen's Crime
Commission (585-5209, pegmantin@tulsacrimecom.org), or City Commissioners
Wilbert Collins Sr. (596-5020, wcollins@tulsacounty.org), Randi Miller
(596-5015, rmiller@tulsacounty.org) and Robert Dick (596-5010,
rdick@tulsacounty.org).
Jennifer P. Chancellor
[address]
www.roadsideattraction.blogspot.com 
|

Rip out the table
we need room to move
in a life unstable
you're so easily amused
anywhere you hang
yourself is home
throw in a tape, fix the tone

The windows are dirty let's hope it rains
add another newspaper
something to do with my change
I see we're fighting again
In some fucking land
throw in another tape man

Someone take the wheel
and I don't know where we're going
anybody say what you feel
everybody's sad, but nobody's showing

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