Friends Not Sure Pawhuska Man Accused Of Murdering Girlfriend Is Guilty
PAWHUSKA, Oklahoma - A man convicted of killing his father 30 years ago is accused again of murder, and now he is a suspect in his girlfriend’s death.
Thomas Eaves appeared in court this week in Osage County.
He’s charged with second-degree murder after investigators say he brought his girlfriend to the hospital hours after she died.
Friends and family of the couple say Eaves and Starr Pennington are well known at the Pawhuska Catholic Church, where the pair ate lunch there every day before Pennington's August death.
"He was protective of her,” friend Janine Ford said. “He made sure she ate, he made sure she had all her neccesities."
Investigators believe Pennington died sometime on Aug. 25 after a day of heavy drinking, something friends say was common.
“I believe with all my heart she needed intervention, she needed help,” Ford said.
Court records show when Eaves brought Pennington to the hospital in Pawhuska, doctors tried to resuscitate her but believe she had been dead for hours.
According to the medical examiner’s report, it says Pennington died of blunt force trauma to the head, citing broken ribs, bruises all over her body and bleeding in her brain.
Tiffanie Brown eats lunch at the church every day and says Pennington often came to lunch with bumps and bruises.
Medical records show Pennington had been to the hospital nine times since October 2014 for injuries related to abuse.
"We still don't know the story for sure; I was just in disbelief," Brown said.
This isn't Eaves first brush with violence. In 1986, he was convicted of shooting and killing his father and spent 11 years in prison for the crime.
He also spent two and a half years in prison for assaulting a woman and intimidating her.
“Thomas has a history, but we all have history," Ford said. "I don't believe Thomas killed her, I don't."