, Muskogee, OK

Local News

December 31, 2012

Top 10 area stories of 2012


— 1. Fowler convicted in mall shooting

A deadly chapter in Muskogee history ended this year when Dondray Fowler was convicted of murder in the fatal Arrowhead Mall shooting.

Fowler was found guilty July 20 on one count of first-degree murder for the death of Jerrod Reed, 17. Fowler also faced four counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon.

Fowler, 22, was sentenced Oct. 3 to life with the possibility of parole on the murder charge. He also was sentenced to 30 years each on the four counts of assault and battery with a deadly weapon. With the sentences to be served consecutively, Fowler will be incarcerated for at least 140 years before he will be eligible for parole.

Reporters D.E. Smoot and Wendy Burton contributed to this report.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth

Notable deaths during the year

Feb. 22 — Gloria Doris Schumann, 91, commissioned to paint President Richard Nixon’s inaugural portrait as well as that of former Attorney General John Mitchell and many other prominent people. But her portraits of children gave her the reputation as America’s “painter of little men.”

March 9 — Okay rancher Richard Jason Rousselot, 50, the secretary of the Wagoner County Election Board from 2002 to 2007.

March 31 — Spc. James E. Dutton of Checotah was killed in Logar province, Afghanistan. Dutton, 25, was assigned to the 125th Brigade Support Battalion, 3rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, Fort Bliss, Texas.

April 11 — Wadie L. Morton, a retired longtime Muskogee Police officer, died at age 63.

April 12 — Steven Wayne Williams, 54, died in a gun-cleaning accident. Williams was the manager of Greenleaf State Park, Tenkiller State Park and Cherokee Landing State Park.

June 25 — C. Clay Harrell, former city manager and beautification leader, died two days short of his 99th birthday. Before he retired in 1995, he served twice as city manager, during 1952-61 and 1979-82. He also founded A More Beautiful Muskogee Inc., which focuses on civic beautification, in 1988.

June 29 — Dr. David Andrew Reifsteck, 64, was brushhogging when the tractor he was riding rolled over onto him.

July 7 — Bill Hearn, 69, was a longtime music instructor in Muskogee Public Schools.

Aug. 19 — Joe Rector,77, Indian artist, world champion weightlifter, school teacher, musician, died surrounded by family in Florida.

Oct. 12 — James Hodge, 69, owned James Hodge Ford.

Oct. 12 — Steven Mark “the Pepsi Man” Lowrimore, 53, was the chief of Brushy Mountain Volunteer Fire Department for 23 years.

Oct. 30 — William Bruce Guthrie, longtime clerk of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Oklahoma, died at 65. He was appointed clerk in 1989.

Dec. 9 — Curtis Calvin Brackeen, 79, was a Muskogee Public Schools teacher and coach.

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