Victim’s Neighbor Writes Letter To Man Released After Murder Charges Dropped


Thursday, September 10th 2020, 9:24 pm
By: Erick Payne


TULSA, Okla. -

After charges were dismissed against a murder suspect and he's a free man tonight, a friend of a victim has a message for the suspect.

Peggy Gaytan was murdered in 2011 and no arrest was made until Patrick Hamstard was charged with the crime last May.

Prosecutors said they were forced to drop the charges after their only witness refused to cooperate. Hamstard was released from jail this afternoon.

Related Story: DA: Charges Dropped In 2011 Murder Case After Key Witness Refuses To Cooperate

Peggy Gaytan's neighbor wrote a letter to the suspect and read it out loud Thursday. Jennifer Harmon was Peggy Gaytan's neighbor nearly a decade ago.

Harmon said the last time she saw Peggy was December 21, 2011, the day before Peggy was shot and killed while working at a Shell gas station.

Harmon hopes her letter reaches Patrick Hamstard, the man who was charged with killing Peggy.

"She was upbeat and told me she was ready for Christmas, with presents already under the tree,” Harmon said. “Just a day later, all of that changed when you walked in to rob the store but accidentally killed Peggy.”

Harmon said she and Peggy's family have known for years that Hamstard was a suspect. She said court documents said Hamstard admitted to doing the shooting and told people it was an accident.

"Over the years we prayed you would just tell the police what happened, and give closure to Peggy's family," Harmon said.

Retired Tulsa Homicide Sergeant Dave Walker worked on Peggy's case. He said he hopes there are other witnesses who know what happened and who will now come forward.

"I'm confident the dam will break, and the floodwaters will open, and we will be in court someday, and as Jennifer said the family will get to read their statement," Walker said.

Harmon said just because these charges were dismissed, it doesn't mean their fight for justice is over.

"All the while you were enjoying life with your kids, your friends and family. Something the Gaytan family will never get to do," Harmon said.

We reached out to Hamstard's defense attorney to ask for a comment but haven't heard back. The second suspect in the case was shot and killed by a homeowner during a home invasion last year.