MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

March 8, 2013

Mistrial in Dean murder case

Jury hung on alleged order to kill

— After nearly three hours of deliberation, jurors decided Friday that they could not come to an agreement on the fate of a Muskogee man charged with felony murder.

Although Tommy Lee Dean Jr., 21, wasn’t accused of firing the shot that killed Ryan Satterfield, 17, he was charged with first-degree felony murder for allegedly being part of a robbery that left Satterfield dead.

The jury entered deliberations at 10:40 a.m. after about an hour of closing arguments from Dean’s attorney, Bobby Lewis, and Assistant Muskogee County District Attorney Tim King. They emerged at 1:35 p.m. and announced to Associate District Judge Norman Thygesen that they could not come to an agreement.

Lewis spent much of the week of testimony pointing out what he said were inconsistencies in testimony and written statements by three witnesses to Satterfield’s death. King countered, saying the discrepancies proved the witnesses hadn’t conspired to concoct a story placing Dean, who they claimed ordered Deandre Clark to shoot Satterfield, at the house during the murder.

Clark, 19, was convicted last week. Dean and four others — Jordan Miller, 18; Martin Miller, 19; Frederick Watson, 19; and Troy Dufur, 18 — are alleged to have been involved in the robbery. Prosecutors allege the men broke into a house in the 1500 block of East Okmulgee Avenue on Nov. 23, 2011, and robbed and assaulted Satterfield and three other teenagers before killing Satterfield and fleeing.

After Thygesen stated that he had been informed of the jury’s inability to come to a decision, he asked the forewoman whether she thought more time could help them decide. When the forewoman replied no, Thygesen asked the jurors to individually show whether they thought more time would help. All 12 jurors shook their heads.

“I’ll accept your collective wisdom and declare a mistrial,” the judge said. “I’ve done about 400 cases, and this is my second one of these.”

After the mistrial was announced and the jury had left the courtroom, Lewis asked Thygesen to reduce Dean’s bond to $25,000 so Dean could get out of jail. He said Dean had been incarcerated since late 2011 and that additional time in jail awaiting a new trial in July would only be adding to rising jail costs.

Thygesen denied the request.

Dean’s cousin, Crystal Cartwright, said: “I feel like he should have had a bond. He’s been in there a long time.”

Dean’s aunt, Shirl McBride, said the family was on “pins and needles” while waiting  for a resolution.

“We have to go through it again,” she said. “We were really wanting to walk out of here today with him.”

Satterfield’s parents, Brad and Michelle, said it was difficult seeing the trial end without a verdict.

“It’s tough, but we’ll get there,” Brad Satterfield said. “But it will just give them time to strengthen up the case. ... This was better than not guilty.”

Michelle Satterfield said she would stay strong, but she hated the thought of going through the trial again.

“Every time, I’m reliving my son’s death,” she said. “It’s very, very hard.”

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

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