A Wagoner man, accused of shooting his neighbor during a conflict about two round bales of hay, was arraigned in Wagoner County District Court on Thursday.
Donald Dickerson, 60, was charged with shooting with intent to kill, and he is being held on $50,000 bond.
Dickerson was arrested July 31 for reportedly shooting Martin Truman, 40, of Okay. The hay was located on third-party land, Wagoner County Sheriff Bob Colbert said.
Wagoner County Investigator Jake Kelley said last he heard, Truman was still in critical condition. Truman was shot near the left nipple, and the bullet exited through the lower portion of the back, Kelley said.
"When I was there to interview him last week, he had been taken off the ventilator," Kelley said. "Since, I have heard his lung collapsed again, and the ventilator had to be re-established."
In all his years of investigating crime, Kelley said he has never seen "this amount of violence over hay. I've seen disputes over livestock, but never hay... With the dry weather, the value of hay is going up."
Dickerson did not give a statement after being arrested and invoking attorney's rights. His family members, however, said Truman told Dickerson he had permission from the land owner to take the hay. An argument ensued and Truman wielded a shovel, so Dickerson shot him, his family said.
Dickerson's family was present during the conflict, Kelley said, and there were no independent witnesses to the conflict.
"There's a fine line of who actually had permission to take the hay," Kelley said.
The third-party already had given Dickerson permission to take some hay a couple of months before, Kelley said, and the two bales in question were left over. Truman told investigators he had permission from the land-owner to take the last two.
"The heat, the temperatures, the drought, the rising prices – that it would evolve into a gun – it's so stupid," Colbert said.
Kelley acknowledged the investigation is not focused solely on Dickerson, and there is a possibility for more arrests.
Dickerson's preliminary hearing is set for Sept. 18.