Jury selection begins in Daniel Fears' trial

Monday, September 13th 2004, 5:57 am
By: News On 6

SALLISAW, Okla. (AP) -- Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a Sallisaw man accused of murder and other crimes in an October 2002 shooting spree that left two women dead and eight people wounded.

Potential jurors in Daniel Hawke Fears were given questionnaires to fill out Monday morning in Sequoyah County District Court, the district attorney's office said.

Attorneys will begin questioning the jury pool Tuesday morning, the court clerk's office said.

Fears, 20, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and 16 other felonies, including eight counts of shooting with intent to kill and eight other weapons crimes. He has been jailed without bond.

Fears, who was then 18, allegedly began a shooting spree with a shotgun after being chastised for driving recklessly near playing children, authorities say.

He allegedly shot two neighbors, a salesman and a patron at a car dealership, a couple at a statue shop east of Sallisaw and then randomly at passing cars, authorities say.

Patsy Wells, 61, of Sallisaw, and Reba Spangler, 68, of Fort Smith, Ark., were killed and eight others were wounded by gunfire.

Defense doctors say Fears has a psychotic personality and believes he was influenced by extraterrestrials. He has been determined to be competent for trial, and prosecutors have elected not to pursue the death penalty because of Fears' age at the time of the crime.