Oklahoma Law Enforcement Memorial

David Cannon "Pat" Oates - Deputy Warden

Oklahoma State Penitentiary

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Deputy Warden David Oates was one of seven people killed during a prison escape about 4:20 p.m. on Monday, January 19, 1914, at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary (OSP) in McAlester.

Three escaping convicts, Tom Lane, Chiney Reed and Charles Kuntz, became involved in a gun battle with Deputy Warden David Oates near his office just as Bertillon Officer Herman H. Drover, 49, was coming out of his office and was killed by gunfire from convict Tom Lane.

Deputy Warden David Oates, 44, ran down the hall for more guns and ammunition. The convicts then burst into Oates’ office and confronted stenographer Mary Foster, Day Sergeant Fred C. Godfrey, Parole Officer Frank Rice, and attorney John R. Thomas. The convicts ordered everyone to raise their hands. The elderly attorney John Thomas moved too slow for them, so Tom Lane shot him fatally.

Day Sergeant Fred Godfrey, 38, then attacked convict Tom Lane. During the struggle Tom Lane shot Day Sergeant Fred Godfrey in the head, killing him instantly.

The convicts then took Mary Foster and Parole Officer Frank Rice as protection and hostages and moved back into the hallway where Deputy Warden David Oates met them with a shotgun. Deputy Warden Oates ordered Tom Lane to drop his gun, but Tom Lane shot and killed Deputy Warden David Oates.

The group then moved outside and got into a buggy. They started across the prison farm field. R. J. Richie, keeper of the prison’s bloodhounds, pursued the group, caught up to them and was able to shoot and kill the three escaping convicts.


David Oates had served three years as a Deputy Sheriff and four years as Sheriff in Woods County before being appointed as Deputy Warden of the State Penitentiary in 1909. David Oates was survived by his wife Beulah and two children Marjorie and William.

David Oates is buried in the Alva Municipal Cemetery, Alva, Woods County, Oklahoma.

OLEM – 8S-1-8    NLEOM – 10E22

June 17, 2021

Henry W. Oats – Federal Prohibition Agent

Prohibition Unit, Bureau of Internal Revenue

The afternoon of Thursday, February 5, 1925, Henry Oats and two other federal prohibition agents noticed a man and two women washing a car in Salt Creek between DeNoya and Fairfax in Osage County. The federal officers walked down to the creek and questioned the trio and determined that the car was stolen. Agent Henry Oats started to drive the car up out of the creek with the man who had been washing the car with him in the front seat. The officers had not searched the man. As the car reached the road the man tried to push Agent Henry Oats out of the stolen car, but Agent Oats resisted and the man pulled a .45 caliber automatic pistol, shot Agent Oats in the stomach then fled on foot. Agent Henry Oats fired several shots at the man hitting him once in the right arm. Agent Henry Oats died the next day, Friday, February 6, of his gunshot wound.

The man who shot Agent Henry Oats was Earl Jarrett, an escaped convict from McAlester serving twenty-five years for bank robbery. Earl Jarrett was arrested a couple weeks later, tried, and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Agent Henry Oats.

Agent Henry Oats was survived by his wife Willie and a stepdaughter.

Henry Oats is buried in Fairfax Cemetery, Fairfax, Osage County, Oklahoma.

OLEM – 3S-3-7    NLEOM – 17W19

June 17, 2021

Robert Herman Odom - Deputy Sheriff

McIntosh County Sheriff’s Office

Deputy Sheriff Robert Odom, 26, was one of six officers who had gone to the house of Chitto “Crazy Snake” Harjo, leader of a militant group of Creek Indians, to arrest him for larceny on Saturday, March 27, 1909.  Near dusk the officers approached the house and shots were fired as several Indians ran from the house.  Checotah City Marshal Edward Baum was the first officer to be shot and killed. Deputy Sheriff Robert Odom tried to get to Edward Baum but was himself shot and killed.

Deputy Sheriff Robert Odom was survived by his father, William Lenthecum 'Doc' Odom, who was McIntosh County Sheriff at the time, and his mother, Mary E. 'Molly' Odom.

Robert Odom is buried in Indian Territory Checotah Cemetery, Checotah, McIntosh County, Oklahoma.

OLEM – 8S-1-18 (Odum)    NLEOM – 52E23

March 27, 2021

John Chukwydiut Okafor – Detention Officer

Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office

John Okafor, 59, had been a Tulsa County jail Detention Officer since 2007. Just before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 15, 2020, Corporal John Okafor was walking up and down some of the stairs in his area of the Tulsa County jail he was assigned to. One of the inmates asked Okafor what he was doing, and Corporal Okafor replied that he was jogging. The inmate stated it sounded like he was having trouble breathing. A few minutes later the inmate heard a crash and observed Corporal John Okafor on the floor of the area outside of two cells and appeared to be having a seizure. Inmates immediately called for help.  Medical staff arrived and gave lifesaving first aid to Corporal Okafor. Corporal John Okafor was then transported to Oklahoma State Medical Center emergency room. Emergency room doctors attempted lifesaving measurers on Corporal John Okafor but were unsuccessful and called time of death at 2:54 p.m.

Corporal John Okafor was survived by his wife Ruth and five daughters and is buried in Rolling Oaks Cemetery, East Tulsa, Tulsa County, Oklahoma.

OLEM – 4N-3-19   NLEOM –

April 7, 2021

Richard Dean Oldaker - Trooper

Oklahoma Highway Patrol

Trooper Richard Oldaker had been with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OHP) for nine years, the last two years as a pilot in the Aircraft Division. He had previously served with the Norman Police Department and was a Viet Nam veteran.  

On the morning of Monday, July 3, 1978, OHP Trooper Richard Oldaker, 33, was piloting a Cessna 182 single engine aircraft with OHP Trooper Rondal Alexander, 34, and U. S. Army Military Police Officer Ronald D. Russell on board as observers. The plane was being used as a traffic spotter aircraft for holiday traffic.  About 11 a.m. the aircraft stuck a high voltage electric guy wire and crashed about three miles northwest of McKnight in Harman County, near the Texas border, on the bank of the Salt Fork River killing all three officers.

The wreckage was discovered about 3 p.m. that afternoon by the wife and son of Calvin Argo owners of the land where the crash occurred while they were looking for some of their cattle.

Trooper Richard Oldaker was survived by his wife Mia, son Terry and daughter Ticka Lee.

Richard Oldaker’s remains were cremated and his ashes were spread on Mount Scott in the Wichita Wildlife Refuge.

OLEM – 2N-1-2    NLEOM – 47W16

June 17, 2021

Richard Edgar Oliver - Chief of Police

Canute Police Department

On Monday, July 4, 1983, Chief Richard Oliver, 33, and Christopher Spitzer, a friend who had applied to be a reserve officer, were patrolling the streets of Canute.  About 10:30 p.m. Chief Oliver and Spitzer observed a motorist in a GMC pickup run a stop sign after it left the Castle Club. Chief Richard Oliver started pursuing the GMC pickup truck southbound on County Road.  About three miles south of Canute, the GMC pickup turned around and headed back northbound back toward the pursuing police vehicle.  Just as the vehicles met at the top of a hill, the GMC pickup was left of center and hit the chief’s patrol car head on. Chief Richard Oliver and Christopher Spitzer were both dead at the scene. It was estimated that the pickup was traveling at 15 – 20 miles an hour. The police car was traveling between 80 – 90 miles an hour upon impact.

James Jennings, 23, was found injured and pinned in the pickup’s passenger side of the pickup. He was transported to the Bone and Joint Hospital in Oklahoma City with two broken legs, a broken jaw, and facial lacerations. It was noted that the driver’s door of the pickup was standing open. Jennings was later convicted of two counts of manslaughter and sentenced to ten years in prison on each count. Jenning’s conviction was overturned by the Court of Criminal Appeals in October 1987.

Chief Richard Oliver was survived by his nine-year-old daughter, Rae Ann and is buried in Rocky Fork Cemetery, Rocky Fork, Licking County, Ohio.

OLEM – 9N-1-7    NLEOM – 48E12

June 17, 2021

Kenny Lee Osborn - Trooper

Oklahoma Highway Patrol

At about 4 a.m. on the morning of Thursday, July 13, 1978, Oklahoma Highway Patrol (OH) Trooper Kenny Osborn pulled over on to the right shoulder of the Turner Turnpike about seven miles west of Sapulpa to check an abandoned station wagon.  This area of the turnpike was under construction because part of the roadway had been sinking. Traffic had been narrowed to a single lane and the abandoned station wagon was presenting a possible traffic hazard. While Trooper Osborn was standing beside the station wagon, a semi-trailer truck loaded with twenty-five tons of reinforced steel entered the construction area at an excessive rate of speed. The truck sideswiped the station wagon and knocked Trooper Osborn twenty-three feet. Trooper Kenny Osborn died at the scene from his injuries.

The truck driver, Gerald Crawford, 36, was charged with negligent homicide.

Kenny Osborn is buried in Wetumka Cemetery, Wetumka, Hughes County, Oklahoma.

Trooper Kenny Osborn was the sixth OHP trooper to be killed in the line of duty in the previous seven weeks.

OLEM – 2N-1-5    NLEOM – 38W5

June 17, 2021

Howard Brooke Oursler, Federal Prohibition Agent

U.S. Department of Justice

Howard Oursler was born January 7, 1874, in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania to Jacob H. and Rebecca Sarah (Morton) Oursler. In 1909 Howard Oursler married Jennie “Mae” Smith. Howard Oursler later served in World War I and obtained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel by the time he was honorably discharged in October 1919.  

Howard. Oursler was a special agent recently assigned from the Kansas City office to the Muskogee office.  Agent Howard Oursler had gone to Stilwell and made purchases of liquor from several sources, one of them Ed Dudley. On Wednesday, October 12, 1932, Agent Howard Oursler and a driver, Elmer Philpott, went back to Stilwell to make arrests. About 1 p.m. the federal officers observed Ed Dudley standing on a street corner. Agent Howard Oliver approached Ed Dudley announcing he was a federal agent and that he was arresting him. Ed Dudley protested at which time the officer grabbed Dudley and attempted to subdue him. During the fight which followed Ed Dudley was able to get Agent Oursler’s gun and fire into the agent’s abdomen, and then turned the gun on Elmer Philpott hitting him in the leg. Ed Dudley then walked away.

Both Agent Howard Oursler and his driver Elmer Philpott were transported to a local hospital, but the efforts of the doctor were in vain, and Agent Howard Oursler died about 4:30 p.m.

 A huge posse was formed, and a search of the hills gave no results.  Three days after the shooting, on Saturday, January 15th Ed Dudley called the sheriff’s office to surrender. Ed Dudley was arraigned on first degree murder charges in the killing of Special Agent Howard Oursler.

Agent Howard Oursler was survived by his wife Jennie “Mae” and is buried in Allegheny Cemetery, Pittsburg, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Ed Dudley was tried for the murder of Agent Howard Oursler the end of September 1933. On Friday evening September 28,1933, the jury returned with a verdict of guilty of manslaughter and recommended life in prison for Ed Dudley.

OLEM – 1N-1-4      NLEOM – 20E6

March 11, 2022

Hugh Abraham Owen - Sheriff

Nowata County Sheriff’s Office

On the afternoon of Wednesday, October 12, 1938, Sheriff Hugh Owen, Deputy Sheriff Bill Lupfer and Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Roy Kannaday were searching for two men who had committed an armed robbery near Nowata the previous night. After identifying two suspects, they traced the men to a house ten miles east of Nowata. When Sheriff Hugh Owen ordered the men to come outside and surrender, they refused.  Sheriff Hugh Owen then forced the door open and was shot in the chest with a shotgun as he entered the house. Sheriff Hugh Owen died on the way to the hospital and the suspects escaped.

Hugh Owen was survived by his wife Lena and two children, James, 15, and Mary, 13, and is buried in Nowata Memorial Cemetery, Nowata, Nowata County, Oklahoma.

Mrs. Lena Owen was appointed Sheriff of Nowata County to serve the remainder of her deceased husband’s term..

Alvie Chester Wright, 25, was arrested near Poplar Bluff by Missouri Highway Patrol troopers on October 15 and Leslie R. “Whitey” Cameron, 24, was captured near the Arkansas border four days later.

Both suspects were taken to the State Prison in McAlester to prevent a lynching and they were tried in Bartlesville the following January 1939. Both men alleged that they were drunk at the time of the shooting and Chester Wright, the one suspected of having fired the fatal shot, also said he was under the influence of morphine. Both men were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

OLEM – 7N-3-12    NLEOM – 60W10 [Owens]

June 17, 2021

Gregory Zane Owens II - Master Patrolman

Catoosa Police Department

On Sunday, March 17, 2002, about 12:50 a.m. Master Patrolman Gregory Owens was responding to a disturbance call with emergency equipment activated when an intoxicated driver suddenly turned into the path of officer Gregory Owen’s patrol car causing a collision. Master Patrolman Gregory Owens sustained sever neck and back injuries requiring surgery.

Master Patrolman Gregory Owens medically retired from the Catoosa Police Department on June 18, 2003.

On Sunday, February 17, 2008, Gregory Owens, 36, died in his sleep at his home from complications of his injuries sustained in the on-duty accident six years earlier.

Master Patrolman Gregory Owens was survived by his two teenage daughters Ashley and Autumn.

Gregory Owens II is buried in Ridge Lawn Cemetery, Collinsville, Tulsa County, Oklahoma.

OLEM – 4S-3-24   NLEOM – 26E29

June 17, 2021

Jacob Gilbert Owens - Deputy U S Marshal

U. S. Marshal Service

Deputy U.S. Marshal Jacob Owens was one of eleven people killed and as many as nineteen wounded on Monday, April 15, 1872, at the Whitmire Schoolhouse east of Tahlequah, near the modern town of Christie in Adair County in the Going Snake District of the Cherokee Nation.  

Zeke Proctor was being tried by the Cherokee Nation at the schoolhouse for accidentally killing a widow named Polly Beck Hildebrand.  The relatives of Polly convinced the federal court at Fort Smith to intervene in the case. The U.S. Commissioner issued an arrest warrant for Zeke Proctor on a charge of “assault with intent to kill” to Deputy U.S. Marshals Jacob G. Owens and Joseph S. Peavey. The Deputy Marshals led a deputized posse including friends and relatives of Polly Beck Hildebrand to the schoolhouse. As the federal posse entered the schoolhouse a massive gun battle erupted.  Posse members Jesse “Black Sut” Beck, Samuel Beck, William Hicks, George Selvidge, James Ward, and Riley Woods were shot and killed that day. Deputy U.S. Marshal Jacob Owens and Posse William Beck were also wounded and died the next day, April 16th from their gunshot wounds.

The burial site of Deputy U.S. Marshal Jacob Owens is unknown.

OLEM – 5N-1-4    NLEOM – 14E12

April 15, 2022

Scott “Brandon” Owens – Lieutenant

Union City Police Department

Scott “Brandon” Owens was born March 9, 1982, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma to Ricky D. and Deborah (Coffman) Owens. Brandon grew up in Yukon, Oklahoma, and graduated from Yukon High School in 2000. Brandon went on to attend Redlands Community College. Brandon Owens married Shelly Davis on April 28, 2006, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas.

Brandon Owens served in the U.S. Army for fourteen years, attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. During his military service, Brandon deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan for combat tours. He also deployed to Saudi Arabia in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

After leaving the Army, Brandon Owens followed his life-long dream and became a law enforcement officer. Brandon graduated from the Oklahoma Council of Law Enforcement Education and Training in 2012. Brandon began his law enforcement career with the Minco Police Department. Brandon later joined the Canadian County Sheriff’s Office as a Deputy Sheriff serving as a Deputy for three years. Brandon then joined the Union City Police Department serving for five years and by the end of 2021 he had attained the rank of Lieutenant.

Brandon served the communities he worked in with the same pride and dedication as when he served his country.

In early January 2022 Lieutenant Brandon Owens, 39, contracted the Covid-19 virus in the line of duty and was hospitalized. For the next two months Brandon Owens put up a valiant fight but died from the effects of the virus the afternoon of Tuesday, March 1, 2022.

Brandon Owens was survived by his wife, Shelly and their two young daughters, Addyson, and Kennedy. Brandon Owens is buried in Yukon Cemetery, Yukon, Canadian County, Oklahoma.


March 7, 2022

Defford T.homas "D.J." Oyebi Jr. -  Officer

Otoe-Missouria Tribal Police

At 9:35 p.m. on Sunday, December 20, 1998. Officer Defford “DJ” Oyebi, 23, was responding to a report of an overturned vehicle when his south bound patrol unit skidded out of control on icy US 177 about 2.3 miles north of State Highway 15 West near the Otoe Indian Agency in Noble County. Officer Defford Oyeybi’s patrol car was struck in the passenger side by a north bound vehicle. Officer Defford Oyebi and a passenger in the other vehicle were pinned in their cars for forty-five minutes and were pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the other car was injured but survived. Officer Defford Oyebi had been with the Otoe-Missouria Police Department since June 26, 1996.

Officer Defford Oyebi was survived by his wife, Tiffany, and three children, Courtney, age 3, Carrie, age 2 and Tyler, age eight months and is buried in the Otoe-Missouria Cemetery, Red Rock, Noble County, Oklahoma.

OLEM – 4S-2-18     NLEOM – 45E21

June 17, 2021