Friday, July 14, 2017

Sheriff, Deputy Back on the Job

Sheriff Larry Lane

Sequoyah County Sheriff Larry Lane is back at his desk at the sheriff’s office in Sallisaw.

“It’s good,” Lane said about being back at work. “It’s hectic. It’s just extremely busy. But it’s just like we didn’t miss a beat.”

Lane confirmed that Deputy Charles House was also back on the job.

Both Lane and House were put on paid administrative leave on July 5 after a shooting at the McDonald’s restaurant in Sallisaw that left a Texas man dead. That is the regular procedure when a law enforcement officer is involved in a shooting.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) looked into the shooting and turned their report over to the office of District Attorney Brian Kuester.

In a letter dated July 13 Kuester’s First Assistant District Attorney N. Jackson “Jack” Thorp wrote: “…it is clear that both Lane and House acted in a manner that is consistent with the law and possibly prevented further danger or possible loss of life to restaurant occupants as well as other law enforcement officers who were searching and attempting to apprehend James (“Jamie”) Huskey.”

James William “Jamie” Huskey, 45, was being sought by local police and Fort Smith police after he allegedly struck his sister at her home in Fort Smith during an argument. Huskey was also described as a fugitive from Texas.

Thorp writes about the search and subsequent shooting. He reports in the letter: “Shortly after noon (on July 5), officers determined that Huskey was in close proximity to the America’s Best Value Motel in Sallisaw, and the searching law enforcement agents focused on those areas closest to the motel. Sheriff Lane and Chief Deputy House entered the McDonalds restaurant…shortly thereafter as part of the community search. Chief Deputy House encountered Huskey in close proximity to the restroom. House was able to signal Sheriff Lane, and Lane formed a plan to peaceably take Huskey into custody. As surveillance video corroborates, Lane approached Huskey from one direction as House approached from the area of the restroom. Upon seeing Sheriff Lane, Huskey immediately produced a firearm and attempted to shoot Lane. Sheriff Lane was able to grab Huskey’s ‘gun hand’ and House and Lane attempted to disarm Huskey. Huskey fired a shot from the .32 caliber pistol he possessed - nearly shooting Lane. Following the shot, both Sheriff Lane and Chief Deputy House continued their attempt to disarm Huskey, as Huskey exclaimed multiple times his intent to resist and demanded that officers ‘just shoot me…you’re gonna have to kill me.’ Unable to subdue Huskey with non-deadly force, Sheriff Lane verbally insured that Chief Deputy House was safe and after insuring the safety of patrons of the restaurant, Sheriff Lane fired his service weapon into the resisting assailant. Following the one gunshot, Huskey finally released his firearm and after further struggle, Sheriff Lane and Chief Deputy House were able to secure Huskey. Emergency Service Providers arrived shortly thereafter and Huskey was transported to Sequoyah Memorial Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injury and died.”

Thorp writes that he applied those facts to Oklahoma law that deals with officers’ use of deadly force and found that Lane and House acted in a lawful manner.

Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director

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