A 42-year-old Bartlesville man entered a guilty plea to second-degree murder last week in the brutal 2012 slaying of a 61-year-old Timothy Allen Hauser.
Rusty Boyd Petty pleaded to the reduced charge during a hearing in Osage County District Court before Associate District Judge B. David Gambill. He was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment, with 10 of the years to be suspended.
Although Petty’s mental competency had been raised as an issue in a defense motion to dismiss a first-degree murder charge against him, his plea of guilty was accepted by Gambill. The pleading followed negotiations between state prosecutors and L. Wayne Woodyard, a capital-defense attorney provided for Petty through the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System.
A niece and a sister-in-law of Hauser made victim’s statements to the court following Petty’s Tuesday pleading to the reduced murder charge. Both relatives reportedly expressed their family’s dissatisfaction with the negotiated settlement.
Petty, an Arkansas native and former Kansas City-area resident who had no previous felony convictions, took the stand at the Dec. 3 hearing and recounted events from the night of the killing.
Hauser, a lifelong Bartlesville resident, was slain Aug. 9, 2012, following a casino outing to which he had been driven by Petty. Petty testified Tuesday that, after leaving the casino, he stopped the car along a secluded road west of Bartlesville, where he pretended to have engine trouble. He admitted to attacking Hauser and finally striking him with a tire tool.
After also being robbed, Hauser had been left to die at the remote Osage County location, according to the testimony.
Petty had been arrested approximately a week after Hauser’s disappearance, based on video surveillance from the casino. He reportedly confessed to assaulting and robbing the victim and later directed officials to the tire tool. Petty and his alleged accomplice, 29-year-old Trysta Alberta Eileen Shaffer, were charged originally with conjoint robbery of Hauser — whose body had not yet been recovered.
The first-degree murder charge was filed against Petty and Shaffer earlier this year after remains found by a deer hunter last December were positively identified as belonging to Hauser. Prior to a preliminary hearing this summer, the robbery charge was dismissed against the two defendants.
In mid-September, Woodyard had filed a motion seeking dismissal of the original murder charge against Petty. Tuesday’s hearing was scheduled to consider his motion to quash, which contended that Petty was mentally incompetent at the time his initial statements were made to investigators.
An Osage County Sheriff’s Office deputy who arrested Petty testified at the preliminary hearing that Petty was being treated at a hospital psychiatric ward when he was taken into custody. He subsequently led officers to the area where the initial attack had occurred, testimony indicated.
An accessory-to-robbery charge that had been filed in the case was dismissed recently. It accused a 37-year-old Bartlesville woman with providing assistance to Shaffer and Petty immediately following their robbery of Hauser.
The first-degree murder charge remains intact against Shaffer. She is being held in the Osage County Jail on a $1 million bond. District court arraignment for Shaffer has been scheduled for 1 p.m. on Dec. 13 before Gambill. Shaffer was represented in court last week by OIDS lawyer Rod Ramsey.