Juvenile Records Show What Led Oklahoma Teens To Murder Charges
TULSA, Oklahoma - We've seen a number of teenagers accused of murder recently in Green Country.
When a young person is charged with such a crime, it begs the question: Were there warning signs of their behavior that someone missed? If they are indeed guilty, could the crime have been prevented?
We submitted an open records request for the juvenile records of three teenagers recently arrested for murder. Once charged with murder, the juvenile records can be unsealed, so we asked for them for Tyrone Woodfork, Josh Mooney, and Hank Laird.
Woodfork is accused in the murders of elderly couple Bob and Nancy Strait last spring. Mooney is accused of murdering a woman in Jenks before Christmas, and Hank Laird is charged with murdering his mother last month.
Woodfork was 19 years old when he is accused of breaking into the home of Bob and Nancy Strait. He allegedly beat Bob and raped and beat Nancy to death, and then took off in their vehicle, loaded with their things.
His juvenile file shows, by age 13, he was considered a "child in need of supervision" by the state.
He got busted for being drunk in public at 14. At 15, he was accused of second degree burglary. At 18, he pleaded guilty to burglary and claiming property that was did not belong to him was his. Then, the next year, came the murder allegation.
His file shows his mother divorced his father, remarried and then divorced again.
Josh Mooney's file shows his first trouble with the law was at age 13, when he was put on probation for stabbing show pigs at the Depew FFA barn.
He was also declared a delinquent child in need of state supervision. He was sent to the Owasso Baptist Children's home, but ran away. A month later, he got probation again, this time for punching and choking a boy. That fall, he got detention at school, but refused to go, and ran away from home until he got hungry, at which point he returned.
Despite being in weekly individual and monthly family counseling sessions each month, records show he stole his mother's car a few months before he is accused of murdering Mary Escue inside her parent's Jenks home.
Records show he spent time in Shadow Mountain Behavioral Health System. He was taking medicine for Bi-polar Disorder and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and had made suicidal threats, records show.
The file shows Mooney's father also has a criminal history. Mooney told a counselor he rarely saw his father and didn't get along with this step-father.
Hank Laird's file shows, at age 15, he got probation for repeatedly punching his mom in the face. He was in custody in three different counties, went AWOL, ignored court dates, abandoned school, and refused to follow probation or participate in court ordered counseling.
The next year, he got more probation for again attacking and choking his mother. Workers called him assaultive, troubled and defiant. He told them he drank until he blacked out then and his anger got out of control, the records show.
In-house counseling helped him get sober and he told them he was ready for a new chapter. Last November, even though he missed court again, records show his mother begged the judge not to arrest him, saying he had been more respectful to her. The judge issued the warrant, anyway.
Two months later, Linda Laird was dead. Police say he beat her to death.
As for Laird's family life, records show he considered his dad to be his best friend. His dad died of cancer when Hank was 10. He said he loved his mother, but they had trouble living together peacefully after his dad passed away.
We will update these cases as they make their way through the courts.