Man suspected of killing girlfriend takes own life

Saturday, October 6th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SAND SPRINGS, Okla. (AP) _ A man suspected of killing his girlfriend took his own life, Sand Springs police said.

The state Medical Examiner's Office ruled that Marcus Dewayne Sample's Aug. 28 death was a suicide, Sand Springs Police Lt. Dan Graham said Friday.

Sample's body was found inside the fenced yard at the Oklahoma Department of Transportation maintenance shop just off Oklahoma 51.

Investigators suspected Sample, 36, in the abduction of Joycelyn Littles, whose body was found a week later in a pond in southern Muskogee County.

According to the autopsy, a gunshot punctured one of Sample's lungs and another shot perforated the other lung and Sample's heart before lodging in his spine. He died about midnight.

Sample's death was caused by two .25-caliber slugs fired at close range, the report said.

Suicide in such a manner is possible because of the small size of the bullets and Sample's size, Graham said. Sample weighed about 210 pounds and his height was 5-foot-9.

Graham said he has heard of people surviving up to five shots in the head by similar bullets.

The autopsy also showed that Sample's heart arteries were clogged, Graham said. Tests for alcohol or drugs were not shown on the autopsy report, he said.

The autopsy closes the case for the Sand Springs Police Department, Graham said, but it will remain up to the District Attorney's Office to make the official determination.

The medical examiner's office hasn't determined Littles' cause of death. Her body was found in a farm pond near Oktaha, a small community where Sample's family lives.

The body had been in the water several days, Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson said.