Appeals Court Reverses Conviction Of Crime Spree Assailant - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |

Appeals Court Reverses Conviction Of Crime Spree Assailant

MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) _ The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals on Friday overturned the murder conviction of a man accused of killing two people and wounding eight others during a 2002 shooting spree in eastern Oklahoma.

According to records, Daniel Hawke Fears, then 20, broke into his father's house Oct. 26, 2002, stole a shotgun and drove around the neighborhood shooting people.

Fears then fired the weapon at several people as he drove along U.S. Highway 64 during a stretch from Sallisaw to Muldrow.

Patsy Sue Wells, 61, of Sallisaw and Reba Spangler, 68, of Fort Smith, Ark., were killed. In September 2004, Fears was convicted of first-degree murder in those deaths, and Fears later was sentenced by District Judge John Garrett to 11 life terms and another 104 years in state prison.

The appeals court sent the case back to Sequoyah County District Court on Friday with instructions for the judge to enter a ruling of not guilty by reason of insanity.

``Taking all evidence in light most favorable to the State, it is insufficient to show beyond a reasonable doubt that Fears was sane,'' the appeals court said.

The opinion states that Fears, after his arrest, told a trooper that aliens were controlling him and his brain; that Fears later was diagnosed with severe schizophrenia; that Fears pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity; and that there was little expert disagreement on Fears' sanity.

Fears may be sent to the Oklahoma Forensics Center in Vinita for treatment once he is returned to Sequoyah County Jail, officials said.
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