Rusty Boyd Petty entered a guilty plea to a second-degree murder Tuesday in the brutal 2012 slaying of a 61-year-old Bartlesville man, Timmy Hauser.
Petty, 42, pleaded to the reduced charge during an afternoon hearing in Osage County District Court before Associate District Judge B. David Gambill. The former Bartlesville resident was sentenced to 35-years imprisonment, with 10 of those years to be suspended. Petty’s mental competency had been raised as an issue in a defense motion to dismiss the first-degree murder charge against him.
The pleading followed negotiations between state prosecutors and L. Wayne Woodyard, a capital-defense attorney provided for Petty through the Oklahoma Indigent Defense System. Gambill accepted the plea from Petty, an Arkansas native and former Kansas City-area resident who had no previous felony convictions.
Hauser was slain Aug. 9, 2012, following a casino outing to which he reportedly was driven by Petty. On Tuesday, Petty admitted that he struck Hauser with a tire tool. In addition to being bludgeoned, Hauser also was robbed, according to investigator reports filed in the case.
A lifelong Bartlesville resident, Hauser was left to die in a rural area of Osage County— approximately five miles west of Bartlesville — near where the attack is believed to have occurred. Petty was arrested approximately one week after Hauser disappeared. He reportedly confessed to assaulting and robbing the victim, and later directed officials to the tire tool — which was one of several weapons used in the attack.
Petty and his alleged accomplice, 29-year-old Trysta Alberta Eileen Shaffer, originally were charged with conjoint robbery of Hauser, whose body had yet to be recovered. The first-degree murder charge was filed against Petty and Shaffer earlier this year after remains found by a deer hunter were positively identified as belonging to Hauser.
Prior to a preliminary hearing this summer, the robbery charge was dismissed against the two defendants. An accessory-to-robbery charge filed later in the investigation was dismissed recently against a 37-year-old Bartlesville woman accused of aiding Shaffer and Petty a few hours after their alleged attack on Hauser.
A niece and a sister-in-law of Hauser offered victim’s statements to the court following the judge’s acceptance of Petty’s murder 2 pleading. Both reportedly expressed their family’s dissatisfaction with the negotiated settlement.
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.
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 Tuesday by OIDS lawyer Rod Ramsey.