Ottawa sheriff stabbed to death

Monday, December 13th 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FAIRLAND, Okla. (AP) -- The wife of Ottawa County Sheriff Jack Harkins faced a court appearance today on allegations of stabbing him to death with a steak knife. Harkins, 61, was found dead of stab wounds Saturday night in the couple's Fairland home in far northeastern Oklahoma.

Patty Harkinshad called 911 from the home at 8:58 p.m. and said, "I've stabbed my husband," said Fred DeMier, first assistant district attorney of Ottawa County. Mrs. Harkins, 58, was jailed on a murder complaint. Harkins, a retired Miami firefighter, was elected three years ago. He also worked as a toll-taker for the Oklahoma Turnpike Authority and owned a Miami area gasoline station.

Deputy Bill Burris said he spent time at a shooting range with Jack Harkins on Saturday morning. "Harkins was as happy as could be. He was just a real good ol'boy and a big kidder," Burris said Sunday. "This is a real shock to everyone in the department." On Saturday morning, Burris and Harkins made plans to ride in the Quapaw and Commerce Christmas parades that afternoon, but Harkins called Burris before they left and said he decided to stay home and rest instead.

DeMier said the stabbing came shortly after the couple returned home from a party Saturday night. "She was fairly intoxicated," DeMier said of Mrs. Harkins. Ottawa County Undersheriff Mike Smith will act as sheriff until county commissioners hire a replacement to serve the remaining year of Harkins' term. The next election for sheriff will be the primary in August 2000.