Murder Trial For A Former Man Of The Year Begins Monday

Sunday, April 22nd 2007, 3:09 pm
By: News On 6

Roy Westbrook, a man once known as a model citizen, heads to court for first degree murder on Monday. Westbrook has been honored by the Hominy Chamber of Commerce and the Hominy newspaper for his efforts to improve a town park, and he was named the town's "Man of the Year" in 2004. The News On 6’s Joshua Brakhage reports that’s why Osage County residents were shocked when witnesses say Westbrook gunned down a waitress at a Hominy diner.

In July 2005, a gunman stormed into a Hominy Diner at lunch time and shot 26-year-old Rebecca Clements.

Sherri Hinton says she'll never forget holding a dying co-worker in her arms.

"And I had my hand on her and I was calling her, Becky, Becky. And the guy that shot her was standing one foot away from me," she said.

"I saw who was the shooter and I could not believe that was the shooter," diner owner Chad Filali said.

Restaurant regulars pointed the finger at a familiar face, the last person anyone would suspect, Roy Westbrook. Investigators think he bought a gun at a pawn shop an hour before the shooting.

Westbrook was named the town's Citizen of the Year just months earlier, and he was a lifelong Hominy resident and town philanthropist.

Osage County prosecutors believe it was an op-ed piece in the Hominy paper that pushed Westbrook over the edge. Clements wrote how unhappy she was with Westbrook as a landlord, and that he refused to give the property his attention.

Westbrook argued insanity in the case. The court ordered him to check into a mental hospital so doctors could determine if he should stand trial. After that, Westbrook paid for an independent psychological exam at his own expense. A jury of seven ruled him competent to stand trial, and after three delays Westbrook's trial is slated to begin Monday in Pawhuska.

Related stories:

7/19/2005 Hominy Diner Waitress Shot To Death

7/20/2005 Two Murder Charges To Be Requested In Killing Of Pregnant Waitress

7/21/2005 Coping With Tragedy

7/22/2005 Funeral For Hominy Waitress Held Friday

7/25/2005 Hominy Man Charged With Murder Scheduled For Court Today

10/20/2005 Man Accused In Fatal Diner Shooting Ordered To Undergo Evaluation

12/8/2005 Osage County Man Fit For Trial On Charges Of Killing Waitress

4/21/2006 Suspect In Hominy Diner Killing Will Face Trial

5/18/2006 Trial Set For Hominy Murder Suspect