Osage County Jury Clears Pawhuska Man Of First Degree Murder


Monday, October 16th 2006, 10:49 am
By: News On 6


An Osage County man is cleared in a shooting that left one person dead and another injured. He had maintained all along the shooting was self-defense. News on 6 anchor Craig Day re-visits the case and talks with the shooter about the jury's decision.

Wallace Roberts says there is no doubt, he's thankful a jury cleared him of serious charges. Two years ago, Roberts went into his home in Pawhuska and found several people inside. He says one of them had a gun. “I don't know if you've ever had a gun pulled in your face, but a .45 caliber is pretty big. It's my first and I hope it is my last."

Wallace’s mother Yvonne Dill: "the man was behind the living room door. He was behind the front door." Wallace Roberts says he grabbed a gun of his own and fired. Andre Wright was injured. Roberts’ girlfriend, Daphne Watson was killed.

Roberts says that was an accident. "Just wish it didn't happen. It was just a bad deal, man."

Two years after the shooting, a jury in Osage County found Wallace Roberts not guilty of first degree murder and shooting with intent to kill charges. His attorney argued the shooting was in self defense.

Even though Roberts was cleared, he says the situation has been terribly difficult. He spent three months in the Osage County jail and his family spent $50,000 on his legal defense. Yvonne Dill: "It was a horrible night. And he plays it over in his mind over and over. And he says you know mom I play this over and over. I just don't know what I could have done different."

While thinking of what happened again and again, for now, Roberts and his family are relieved to have the jury trial and uncertainty behind them. Wallace Roberts: "It was pure hell. And it is still hell and there's no telling how long it's going to take a long time."

The Osage County District Attorney told the News on 6, he believes evidence showed Roberts was guilty. Although disappointed in the outcome of the case, he believes in the jury system.

There are no plans for any other prosecutions in the case.