Someone Take The Wheel
Yet Another Patriot - Blog Brave Bloggers! Blog!
I've spent too long bouncing around the country from Springfield, MO to my
current home in Indiana, and I haven't had a chance to visit Tulsa in far too
long. I still know a few people in Oklahoma, and a friend and Tulsa native
got me reading about the recent beating death of Tulsa business owner Shawn
Having lost an eight year-old nephew to a violent accident, I know that the
pain of any loss is bad enough for friends and family. Having now read
accounts of the incident from various Tulsa media sources, it seems to me
that the Tulsa County D.A.'s office might be adding insult to that injury.
The exact events leading to Shawn's
death are subject to debate of course, but
some of the questions could have been answered by a medical examination of
assailant. If Mr. Badgewell had been set upon by brass knuckles, one
would think he would bear some significant marks. Apparently this simple
step wasn't taken (or if it was, no one seemed to think it worth mentioning)
and someone who had just beaten a man to death and left another requiring 20
staples in his head --a "someone" who has a violent history already-- was
released without charges by your office.
While reading the various accounts of this story on different Tulsa media web
sites, I noticed a pattern. KTUL has a poll up about Tulsa bank robberies.
The Tulsa World is running a story about church groups fighting crime. Not
surprisingly after all this, I see that Tulsa is one of the fifteen
communities nationwide targeted by the Justice Department for help in
reducing violent crime. All of this leads me to ask, Mr. Harris, do you do
anything besides get paid to release manslaughter suspects?
I am not from Tulsa County, nor do I live there. However, I hope you will
take my concerns to heart, and allow me to remind you of the words on your
tulsacounty.org website. There it states that your office works "to insure
the legal system effectively protects each citizen from crime and other
threats to public safety." Is releasing a repeat offender that has just
accosted two men with a pipe protecting the citizens? It goes on to claim
you "(combine) aggressive prosecution with prevention and intervention
initiatives." Would the Tulsa police force agree that you "aggressively
prosecuted" Mr. Badgewell before you let him back out on the street?
Lastly, it says that you have "made victims a priority and (are) dedicated to
providing them a strong voice in the justice system."
I ask you, Mr. Harris, what voice does Shawn Howard
(city, not in tulsa)
As Chancellor Says: "Grab A Hankie"
When Bad Things Happen To Good People (Printable Version , E-mail to a Friend )
by Valerie Stefan
When Shawn Howard
was four years old, he and his father, Don Howard, rebuilt a 1951 Chevy truck. After they rebuilt the engine using "old time" tools, they took it for a spin down a dirt road in rural Oklahoma.
wanted to drive so badly that Don finally agreed. They hopped in the front seat, Don sitting and Shawn
standing behind him, arms wrapped around his dad holding the steering wheel. After getting comfy, Don started the engine and slowly made his way down the dirt road with Shawn’s little four year old hands wrapped around the wheel
"Faster Dad" said Shawn
, until they made their way up to 50 miles per hour with Shawn
instructing when to change gears.
I heard this story while spending time with Shawn's
parents, Don & Kate Howard, this past Saturday, June 26th, at the 5th Anniversary celebration of Deadtown Tavern and Speedshop.
The event featured a car show, a passion of Shawn's
since the trip down that little dirt road 31 years ago. He spent countless hours planning the Anniversary events (all the while eating Taco Bueno burritos) including the car show for Deadtown Tavern
, the Brady District bar he purchased several years ago.
The turnout was fantastic with beautiful hot rods, Harleys, lots of great burnouts, and great music by local original bands. The weather was perfect, and the bar was immaculate.
The only thing missing was Shawn
. He had worked tirelessly for the past 2 years to get the area of Cheyenne and Archer more customer–friendly. To protect his customers, frequently he or another Deadtown staff member would have to ask a peddler or vagrant to leave the property.
asked the city to install street lights in the area for at least 2 years, but it took the city 6 months just to replace a burned-out bulb in the only street lamp in the area. Finally he and a dear friend, Mike Sexton, took it upon themselves to install outdoor lighting around the perimeter of the bar itself making it safer for everyone.
Unfortunately it didn’t make the area safe enough.
At 4:30 am, Thursday, June 24th, Shawn
and bar manager Josh Martin, were having a meeting to finalize the anniversary events beginning the next day. A suspected crack dealer made an appearance and the two close friends chased the man off the property. They then saw another vagrant and asked him to leave, also. The man grabbed a lead pipe and hit Josh in the head, then proceeded to beat Shawn
unmercifully up to 10 more times. Josh struggled with the man with all of his heart until finally the man ran off. He then ran to the bar and told Shayna Krieger, Shawn's
fiancé and Deadtown bartender, to call 911.
Shayna made the urgent call and then ran to find Shawn
lying in a large puddle of blood. She gently held him, talking to him lovingly until the ambulance arrived.
The two men were taken to St. John’s Hospital where Josh received 20 staples in his head and was treated for several other severe wounds. Shawn
was in a coma and on life support through the day and into Friday. At approximately 3:00pm he was pronounced brain dead. The family then had to make the painstaking decision of taking Shawn
, who was only 35 years old, off the life support.
All this because some guy, who didn’t know Shawn
, decided to bludgeon him with a lead pipe. Shawn wasn’t robbed. The man took nothing from his body.
The family knew that Shawn
would never want to be on life support, as he had stated so in the past, so they made the decision that no family should ever have to make.
, the most hardworking, dedicated, loyal, caring person I have ever known, left us all at 4:45 pm, Friday, June 25th.
To those who knew him, Shawn
was the most wonderful person. He was dedicated to his friends, family, staff and to making the Brady District more safe.
Not only was he an enthusiastic supporter of local music, making Deadtown one of the few venues in Tulsa where bands could play original music, he also supported the arts and local theatre.
We as Tulsans need to unite to prevent further senseless heinous crimes.
Deadtown Tavern will remain in full operations, as Shawn would have wanted. Plans are still intact for a remodel and stage expansion.
From the mouth of Shawn's
mother, Kay "Shawn's
spirit is here, and it will continue to be, so his bar will stay open".
Calling All Bloggers!
Some here previously asked for clarification re: the murder of my friend and the post I made asking for help. I've been meaning to find time to explain things:
On June 24th, two good friends of mine, Shawn Howard
and Josh (Shawn owned www.deadtowntavern.com and Josh is the Manager) were chasing a man from their property when they encountered Terry Badgewell (who has a long record of violent offenses and they had had trouble with him before) and tried to get him to leave the area. Shawn Howard
was beaten to death by Badgewell and Josh was severely injured. The D.A. has refused to prosecute Badgewell because Shawn
hit him first. However, Badgewell hit him more than six times in the head after he was unconscious and after Josh pled with him to let him take Shawn
to the hospital. Shawn
was declared brain dead the next day and taken off life support.
The D.A. has said "A man has a right to defend himself".
But he sees fit to prosecute stuff like this:
And then there's this statement from his "dear friend": "My dear friend Tim Harris, the District Attorney in Tulsa and devout Christian, told me recently that the reason he won election four years ago was due to the simple fact that "the Church" showed up and voted for him."
Apparently, the D.A. doesn't want to stride into a case with a mentally ill man during an election year and views bar owners and employees as deserving of death and bodily injury if they try to make their business safe for their patrons. He also has no regard for the safety of the community, as Badgewell was released: http://www.ktul.com/news/stories/0704/156521.html
We're trying to coordinate action to write the D.A., attorney general, mayor's action line, etc. Here's a letter from a good friend of mine. Please help if you can.
I read with shock and disbelief that you have declined to bring any action whatsoever against the man who brutally murdered our friend Shawn Howard
I note your pledge "as your Tulsa County DA, I will strive to incarcerate violent offenders...[and] uphold the laws...". How does this square up with releasing a murder to the streets with your blessing?
However complicated other facts of the case may be, one fact is clearly undisputed: a good man, a terrific asset to the community, our friend, was brutally bludgeoned to death by a pipe-wielding assailant. Sadly, as it now stands, the other apparent fact is that you intend to do absolutely nothing in response to this act. This is unconscionable.
Sir, for the good of your community I implore you to reconsider your seemingly casual dismissal of Mr. Howard's
death. What message do you imagine it sends to the citizens of Tulsa that a man working to improve the city can be beaten to death in front of his coworker and your response is simply that 'a man has a right to defend himself?" It cannot be good.
Should it not at least be put before a judge and jury to decide the fate of this miscreant? Do not allow this travesty Mr. Harris.
The people of Tulsa, but not only the people of Tulsa, will be watching with great interest for your response to this horror.
Terry L. Williams
Hold Tim Harris to His Word
I haven't had a chance to visit Tulsa recently, but a friend and Tulsa native got me reading about the recent death of Shawn Howard
. The pain of such a premature loss is bad enough for friends and family, but after reading accounts from various Tulsa media sources, it seems D.A. Tim Harris is adding insult to this injury.
The exact events leading to Shawn's
death are subject to debate, but some of the questions could have been answered by a medical examination of Shawn's
assailant. Apparently this simple step wasn't taken, and someone who had just beaten a man to death and left another badly wounded --a man who apparently has a violent history already-- was released without charges by the D.A.'s Office.
While reading the various accounts of this story, I noticed a poll about Tulsa bank robberies on one web site, and a lead story about church groups taking it upon themselves to fight crime on another. Does D.A. Harris do anything besides get paid to release manslaughter suspects?
It might not do much good, since I am not from Tulsa County, but I am going to call Mr. Harris' office and remind him of the words on the tulsacounty.org website, where it says he "has made victims a priority and is dedicated to providing them a strong voice in the justice system." What voice does Shawn Howard
have, Mr. Harris?
This Is Just Pathetic
In April, Julee Lacey, 33, a Fort Worth, TX, mother of two, went to her local CVS drugstore for a last-minute Pill refill. She had been getting her prescription filled there for a year, so she was astonished when the pharmacist told her, "I personally don't believe in birth control and therefore I'm not going to fill your prescription." Lacey, an elementary school teacher, was shocked. "The pharmacist had no idea why I was even taking the Pill. I might have needed it for a medical condition."
Melissa Kelley, 35, was just as stunned when her gynecologist told her she would not renew her prescription for birth control pills last fall.
"She told me she couldn't in good faith prescribe the Pill anymore," says Kelley, who lives with her husband and son in Allentown, PA. Then the gynecologist told Kelley she wouldn't be able to get a new prescription from her family doctor, either. "She said my primary care physician was the one who helped her make the decision."
Lacey's pharmacist and Kelley's doctors are among hundreds, perhaps thousands, of physicians and pharmacists who now adhere to a controversial belief that birth control pills and other forms of hormonal contraception--including the skin patch, the vaginal ring, and progesterone injections--cause tens of thousands of "silent" abortions every year. Consequently, they are refusing to prescribe or dispense them.
Graphic by Monkeyfister - thanks!
Congrats To Kerry/Edwards!
The next prez and veep.
Told You So!
Yahoo news tells us that the Army stage-managed the fall of the Hussein statue. Course that much was obvious to any thinking person watching/reading the news at the time. But you know how else we knew? Because everything
this administration does is fake. I got your "target of opportunity"...
The Army's internal study of the war in Iraq (news - web sites) criticizes some efforts by its own psychological operations units, but one spur-of-the-moment effort last year produced the most memorable image of the invasion.
As the Iraqi regime was collapsing on April 9, 2003, Marines converged on Firdos Square in central Baghdad, site of an enormous statue of Saddam Hussein (news - web sites). It was a Marine colonel — not joyous Iraqi civilians, as was widely assumed from the TV images — who decided to topple the statue, the Army report said. And it was a quick-thinking Army psychological operations team that made it appear to be a spontaneous Iraqi undertaking.
After the colonel — who was not named in the report — selected the statue as a "target of opportunity," the psychological team used loudspeakers to encourage Iraqi civilians to assist, according to an account by a unit member.
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
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
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 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.
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,
firstname.lastname@example.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, email@example.com), or City Commissioners
Wilbert Collins Sr. (596-5020, firstname.lastname@example.org), Randi Miller
(596-5015, email@example.com) and Robert Dick (596-5010,
Jennifer P. Chancellor
Candidate for Bush's Mental Health Screening
Like all incoming high school seniors, Tim Bueler has big plans after graduation. The 17-year-old student at Rancho Cotate High School near San Francisco is acclaimed in conservative circles for starting the High School Conservative Clubs of America, an organization that is just what its name states. But instead of taking the next logical step and entering politics, Bueler plans to do what so many conservatives merely dream about: kill Muslims.