Fears Deemed Too Dangerous To Be Released

Saturday, March 17th 2007, 3:47 pm
By: News On 6

A Sequoyah County District Judge says Daniel Fears will stay at a state run mental hospital. Judge Jeff Payton ruled on Friday that Fears is still a threat to society and should stay in treatment at the Oklahoma Forensic Center in Vinita.

In 2002 Fears, then 18, took his father's shotgun and began shooting at neighbors and bystanders in Sallisaw, said police. Sixty-one year old Patsy Wells and 68 year old Reba Spangler were killed; eight other people were wounded before Fears surrendered to police.

Fears was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2004, that conviction was later overturned when Fears was deemed not guilty by reason of insanity by the state Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. After changing the guilty verdicts, Judge Payton ordered Fears be taken to the Vinita facility for treatment and evaluation.

The insanity verdict means Fears will remain in supervised treatment until a panel of experts and a judge agree he is no longer is a threat to the public. If and when that happens he could be released.

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