A Tulsa cop killer changes prisons

Wednesday, July 14th 2004, 2:16 pm
By: News On 6

Tulsa Police are outraged. They’ve learned convicted cop killer Anthony Kimbrough is now in a medium security prison.

News on 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright found out that Kimbrough was moved from the maximum security Oklahoma State pen to the Oklahoma Reformatory in Granite, Oklahoma on June 25th, despite the fact he's serving a life term for drugs and life without parole for murdering Tulsa Police officer Gus Spanos.

Anthony Kimbrough became public enemy number one to Tulsa Police officers in April of 1993 when he shot and killed rookie police officer Gus Spanos during a traffic stop. Spanos had no way of knowing Kimbrough had been running drugs between Tulsa and California. In fact, after the murder, Kimbrough hopped a plane to California where he was on the run for several days before surrendering.

Prosecutors had asked for the death penalty, but the jury was locked 10 for it and two against it. So, he received life in prison without parole. Officer Spanos had been a star football player at TU, was newly married and only on the force for a year. The community was outraged by his murder and police are outraged now that this murderer is no longer in the state's most secure prison.

Tulsa Police Sgt Mike Huff: "We see people escape from medium security. We don't want him to get out. We don't ever want to have to deal with this guy ever again. He's a killer."

Lori Fullbright did some research and found out Kimbrough's been cited for misconduct twice since he's been in prison. First in 1995 for assaulting a fellow prisoner and second in 2002 for shouting obscenities at a female guard. If he doesn't cause any more trouble, I've been told he could qualify for minimum security.

Tulsa Police worry that Kimbrough is a huge escape risk and if he gets out, everyone, citizens and police, would be in danger. Sgt Huff: "He's already shown he'll kill a cop. We don't want him to get out and some rural officer meet him and end up just like Gus Spanos did. We're upset about it."

Prosecutors and police plan to protest Kimbrough's transfer to medium security. Lori Fullbright talked with Gus Spanos' father. He told her, he's in shock. He can't believe Kimbrough was transferred and the police and victims' family weren't notified. He plans to write letters to the Governor and Attorney General and hopes the citizens of Oklahoma will do the same.

Mr. Spanos told Lori Fullbright, if this can happen to his son, it can happen to anyone's son and he feels that is just one step away if Kimbrough is not in a maximum security lock-up.