Sheriff: Clearview Man Confesses To Murdering His Wife

Saturday, February 15th 2020, 6:32 pm

A man is in jail after investigators said he confessed to murdering his wife six weeks after she filed a protective order against him.

Okfuskee County sheriff Jim Rasmussen said he was the first to get to the scene in Clearview after getting a call from the man who lived there: Tommy Gouge.

Rasmussen said Gouge confessed he killed his wife. The sheriff said he knew the man and his family well, so this case was personal.

"I knew both of them,” Rasmussen said. “My wife bought Christmas presents for the kids two years ago.”

Rasmussen said Gouge has had a history of crime in the area. Gouge was a former chief of the Indian Brotherhood gang.

Rasmussen said he wouldn’t consider Gouge a friend, but they were a part of each other’s lives.

"He actually worked for me in the courthouse emptying trash, vacuuming, and mopping floors" Rasmussen said. "This is a small community, so it’s not unusual for arrests to go this way." 

Rasmussen had tears in his eyes as he recalled the events Friday afternoon, hearing the 40-year-old Gouge confess to murdering his wife Stephanie. Stephanie was 33.

"He was standing in the yard, with his three children, smoking a cigar and drinking a bottle of water, and he immediately started to confess to me as I approached,” Rasmussen said. “I said 'Hold up, Tommy, hold up. Let's get the kids out of here.’"

Records stated Gouge was charged in January for violating a protective order from his wife and having a gun as a former felon. Rasmussen said he doesn’t know the motive, but said the two were arguing. 

"She allegedly threatened him with a knife,” Rasmussen said. “He disarmed her, stabbed her, and bludgeoned her to death.”

Rasmussen said Gouge’s three kids – 12, 8 and 2-years-old – are safe.

He doesn't think the oldest kids witnessed any violence. 

"His story is the kids were in school, and he was waiting for the school bus to drop them off,” Rasmussen said. “But there was a two-year-old toddler that we believe to be present, but we haven't verified that yet.” 

Gouge is currently in the Okfuskee County jail. The OSBI assisted in the crime scene processing.

The sheriff said they will release the arrest affidavit next week.

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