Murder Charge Filed In 1987 Murder Of Haskell County Commissioner
STIGLER, Oklahoma - Haskell County District Attorney Farley Ward has filed a murder charge against a man who walked into a Montana police station and confessed to killing a Haskell County commissioner in 1987.
Authorities say Clifford Eagle, 54, confessed at the Billings Police Department on April 18, 2012.
About 100 people gathered outside the Haskell County Courthouse in Stigler to hear the news that Leo Reasnor's family and friends have been longing to hear for 25 years.
"His murder was something you just can't fathom in rural Oklahoma." Said Kim Stout, the victim's daughter.
Kim's dad, Leo Reasnor, a county commissioner, was shot once in the head and killed June 25, 1987, in a rural area about four miles southwest of Lequire. For a quarter of a century his family has never known who did it or why.
"It just shook our family to the core," Stout said. "We've never been the same since then."
The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says Clifford Eagle walked into the Billings, Montana police department wanting to "get something off his chest."
Eagle told investigators he and another man, Vince Johnson, met Reasnor on the road. He says Reasnor confronted Johnson about stealing property and both men fired shots at Reasnor.
"My kids never got to know their grandfather," Stout said. "I never got to know my dad as an adult."
Reasnor was checking cattle in the area southwest of Lequire. He was well known, well liked and well respected, so his murder was hard to understand.
Haskell County Treasurer Gale Dixon worked in the courthouse when Reasnor was a commissioner and when he was murdered.
"He was a very nice person," Dixon said. "He would do anything for anybody to help them,"
Prosecutors say it's too early to say if they will seek the death penalty for Clifford Eagle. Reasnor's Family is surprised at the unexpected confession, but always thought they would one day get answers.
"Just shock, but I never gave up hope," Stout said.
Eagle remains in a detention center in Montana on a fugitive from justice complaint.