Vinita Police: Teen Says He Shot His Stepmother

Monday, August 22nd 2016, 9:52 am

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting death of a Vinita woman. The woman's 14-year-old stepson has been arrested for first-degree murder.

Officers found Laura Beth Hendrix dead in a hallway after her stepson went to the Vinita Police Department and confessed to killing her.

Vinita police say it’s the city's first homicide in years, and that the motive isn't clear.

Vinita police and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents worked for hours Monday to figure out what happened in a house on the 400 block of North Thompson Street.

"It's a tragic event anytime you have a death like this," OSBI special agent, Chris Leamon said.

Leamon said it appears the 38-year-old Hendrix died from one gunshot wound. He said Hendrix and her 14-year-old stepson were the only two people inside the house when the shooting happened.

Neighbor Cheryl Thompson said, "It's sad. You know, it really is sad that a young person, in a moment of time, changes everything for him, for the family, and for his parents - my heart goes out to his parent."

Investigators say they found several weapons inside the home, and they aren’t sure what kind of gun the teen used.

Thompson, who has lived in Vinita her whole life, said this is unusual activity.

"This is a small, quaint little town that, when something like this happens, it is surprising,” she said.

Thompson said Hendrix's death doesn't change her outlook on the safety of the city.

"I still think it's a safe place to live and a great place to raise a family," she said.

Investigators say Hendrix has at least one other child aside from her stepson.

The teen's name is not being released at this time due to his age.


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