Two individuals where shot and killed following the robbery of the 1st Bank & Trust in Wright City, McCurtain County, at gun point on Thursday afternoon, June 16, 2011 just west of Rattan on HWY 3.
Dead are Justin Whisenhunt, a former Wright City resident whom the OSBI says was recently released from jail in Tarrant County, TX., after serving time for theft, and Jeremy Dysart of North Richland Hills, TX. The woman with them was Rachel Marie Morris Spear of Euless, TX., she was taken into custody, booked into the Pushmataha County Jail and charged with Murder in the First Degree.
According to reports and witnesses, this is what happened. At approximately 12:50 p.m. the bank was robbed at gun point by individual(s) who left in a black Dodge dually truck. Police reports and some witnesses differ on the number of individuals who entered the bank. Some saying it was one man and some stating it was two men.
Shortly after their departure from the bank law enforcement agencies were notified and officers were all on their way. Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper, Eric Blades, saw the vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed heading west on HWY 3, approximately 5 miles east of Rattan. Blades turned on his lights and sirens in an attempt to initiate a stop, but the vehicle did not comply. The truck then swerved into a privet drive in an attempt to avoid driving over stop sticks that had been deployed by Trooper Brad Dansby. The vehicle then turned around and drove back towards Blades and began discharging firearms. Blades returned fire which resulted in the death of Whisenhunt and Dysart . The female, Spears, was also in the vehicle at the conclusion of the pursuit. Spears was taken into custody and transported to the Pushmataha County Sheriff’s Department for further questioning, no injuries were reported.
At around 3:40 p.m., OSBI Agent Steven Carter interviewed Spears. Prior to the interview Spears was advised of her Rights and she stated that she wanted to talk to Carter. Present in the interview was also OSBI Agent in Charge Dale Birchfield and FBI Agent Amber Fallon. Spears said that she had known Dysart, as a friend, for several years and had known Whisenhunt for about one year and considered him her boyfriend.
According to police reports and Spears’ statement, Whisenhunt, Dysart and herself had traveled to Oklahoma from Arlington, TX. Prior to driving into Oklahoma, Whisenhunt appeared with the black Dodge truck. Spears did not ask about the truck, but knew it had to have been stolen because Whisenhunt had no means of purchasing the vehicle. After arriving in Oklahoma the three stayed at various locations, including spending the night at Robber’s Cave State Park on the night of June 15th. On the morning of the16th, they traveled to Wright City because Whisenhunt had relatives who lived there.
While in Wright City, Whisenhunt said that he had to go to the bank to pick up inheritance money left to him by his father, who had recently passed away. Prior to driving to the bank Dysart asked Spears to get into the back seat of the vehicle and help him smoke a cigarette. At the time of the interview Spears said that she felt Dysart might have known that Whisenhunt was going to rob the bank, due to him asking her to get in the back seat.
Once at the bank Whisenhunt put on a denim jacket and went into the bank. Shortly afterwards he returned to the vehicle with a white trash bag full of money. Once in the vehicle Spears says that Dysart asked Whisenhunt, “You didn’t do this did you?” and Whisenhunt replied, “I told you I would get us the money to start a new life.”
Spears also said that later, she was unsure of t he direction they were driving or the amount of time that had passed, Whisenhunt stated, “They just lit us up.” Referring to the law enforcement vehicle behind them who had just turned on their lights and sirens.
Whisenhunt then drove the vehicle at a high rate of speed and refused to pull over. Spears saw a police SUV stopped in the roadway ahead of them and Whisenhunt drove the vehicle off the roadway, keeping his speed, to avoid an officer who was later identified as Rattan’s Chief of Police Marshal Sorells.
The next thing Spears recalled was seeing another Officer in the roadway putting down spike strips. Whisenhunt left the roadway again to avoid the strips and turned into a wooded area. Spears was knowcked into the floorboard of the vehicle due to the erratic movement of the vehicle. Spears was unsure how many rounds of gunfire she heard but knew that Dysart had been shot because he fell into her lap and was bleeding profusely from the head.
Whisenhunt drove the vehicle back onto the highway and then into the ditch at the Rattan Landing on the west side. At this time Spears exited the vehicle with her hands extended upon the officer’s orders. At some point during the initial portion of the pursuit, a chrome revolver fell from the front seat of t he vehicle into the rear of the vehicle. Spears picked up the gun and placed it back into the front of the vehicle.
According to sorces and reports, Dysart was shot in the head and Whisenhunt was shot in the chest and died on the way to the hospital. One body was covered in the back
Spears, the only living one of the three involved, now faces two counts of Murder in the First Degree, Felony Murder; and Possession of a Firearm after a Former Felony Conviction. FBI Agent Fallon advised OSBI Agent Carter that the United States Attorney's Office is not pursuing charges on Spears for bank robbery at this time.
Spears is being charged with Murder based on Oklahoma Statute 21 O.S. § 701.7 (B) which says that a person can be charged with First Degree murder, regardless of malice, if a person takes the life of another, or if the death of a human takes place during the commission or attempted commission of a robbery with a dangerous weapon or while eluding an officer, which in this case both happened.
Spears is facing Possession of a Firearm after former felony conviction because of prior felony conviction involving Manufacturing a Controlled Dangerous Substances and another one for Possession of a CDS.
If Spears is convicted of First Degree Murder the crime is punishable by death, imprisonment for life or imprisonment for life without parole. If she is convicted of Possession of a Firearm After a Previous Felony, she could face up to 10 years in prison.
Spears is being held in the Pushmataha County Jail and was denied bail.