Okmulgee man accused of killing common law wife

Tuesday, December 20th 2005, 2:20 pm
By: News On 6

A murder investigation in Okmulgee. A woman is dead, her common-law husband is behind bars and their neighbors are stunned at what Okmulgee Police say happened late Tuesday morning.

News on 6 anchor Tami Marler went to Okmulgee and spoke with investigators and with those who know the couple.

Crime scene investigators are gathering evidence at the scene of a killing in Okmulgee late Tuesday morning. Neighbors say they were stunned when police approached 1001 North Griffin with guns drawn. They say officers took a man into custody and confiscated a long-barreled gun.

Chris Pelky arrived a little later. "It's surprising 'cause you know things like this just don't happen around here so you know it's something out of the ordinary so I was real surprised.”

Donald Mills is one of three police detectives in this town of 13,000. He says Okmulgee Police routinely ask the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation to help process major crime scenes. "We started doing that about a year ago, just for their assistance. It's always better to have as much help as you can."

They knew they were going to need it. When officers found 32 year-old Susan Green in her home, dead with an apparent gunshot wound to the face. That was about 11:20 AM Tuesday. Officer Donald Mills: "We received a 911 call from the com center about a man shooting his girlfriend. We believe the male subject that we have in custody is the one who called the 911 center."

In the Okmulgee County jail under close watch is 36 year-old Steve Bennett, Green's common-law husband for more than five years.

Neighbors say they'd just moved-in a few months ago. One neighbor the News on 6 spoke with would not go on camera but he said he was just with Bennett and Green Monday night and that they seemed just fine. In fact, most of the people we spoke with said, they seemed like a very happy couple.

Steve Bennett is expected to be charged with first-degree murder Wednesday. His bond hearing is scheduled for 3:30 PM.

Creek County court records indicate Bennett pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing a controlled substance just two weeks ago. He received a deferred sentence.