Tulsa Police Investigate Christmas Day Homicide

Saturday, December 25th 2010, 10:32 am
By: News On 6


TULSA, Oklahoma -- Tulsa Police are investigating an early Christmas morning homicide in downtown Tulsa.

Police said they received an assault call around 3 a.m. When they arrived, they discovered a homeless man's body on a loading dock in the 100 block of North Cheyenne.

Police said 51-year-old Russell Leon Smith Jr was beaten with a blunt object, possibly a lead pipe. Police don't believe it was a robbery.

Police questioned several other homeless in the area and are looking for Paul Joseph Sopsher, who is also homeless, in connection to Smith's death.

Witnesses told police that Sopsher ran away from the area. Police set up a perimeter and searched the area, but were unable to locate the suspect.

"Downtown is almost easier to disappear then in it would be in the woods," Tulsa Police Sergeant Steve Stoltz said.

According to Department of Correction records, Sopsher was released from prison in 2001 for non-violent crimes.

If you have any information on this case you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 596-COPS