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Manhunts in the Sooner State, past and present

The last of four escaped Lincoln County inmates was captured Thursday morning.

Here is a look at some notable Oklahoma manhunts through the decades.

Rex Brinlee

Brinlee was sentenced to life imprisonment for the 1971 bombing death of Bristow kindergarten teacher Fern Bolding, 28.

Authorities believed explosives wired to the Bolding family's pickup truck were intended for the woman's husband, Donald, who was scheduled to testify against Brinlee in a truck theft case.

In 1973, Brinlee and two other inmates escaped from Oklahoma State Penitentiary during a riot that killed three prisoners and destroyed much of the prison. He was captured in Mississippi.

In 1976, Brinlee escaped the prison again, but surrendered a few days later.


Claude Dennis and Michael Lancaster

On May 26, 1978, three Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers were killed in two gun battles near Caddo in Bryant County when they confronted the inmates, who had escaped from the penitentiary more than a month earlier.

Slain in the gunfire were Lt. Pat Grimes, 36, of Moore; William G. Young, 50, of Woodward; and Houston "Pappy" Summers, 62, of Enid.

Summers was a 32-year veteran of the patrol who was about to retire.

A patrol lieutenant shot and killed both men at the scene.

Dennis and Lancaster were suspected of killing at least four other people in Texas and Alabama.

Then-Gov. David Boren called the shootings "the worst single tragedy in the 40-year history of this outstanding law enforcement agency."

Karrole Draper

Draper was 19 in 1972 when he and two accomplices killed Howard and Judy Siler and their 6-year-old son, Christopher, during a robbery of the Oklahoma City grocery where Howard Siler worked.

Each of the three was forced to lie on the floor and was shot in the back of the head.

Draper was serving life for murder when he Ronald Thomas Koonce, serving life for murder in Lincoln County, escaped from the Oklahoma State Penitentiary on Nov. 6, 1982.

Authorities said the two made their way out of prison by concealing themselves in laundry.

Lt. R.R. Weaver, shift supervisor at the prison, testified that after he was notified of a possible escape, a "countdown" was ordered of all the inmates. He said dummies were found in the cells occupied by Koonce and Draper.

They were captured two days later by police in Bethany after a homeowner there reported that two men had broken into his house and stolen weapons.

Michael Vance

Vance shot two Wellston police officers Oct. 23 ,2016, and fled in a police pickup. He then stole a car at a trailer home park, drove to a home in Luther and killed his relatives, Ronald Wilkson and Valerie Kay Wilkson.

A weeklong manhunt ensued.

He was spotted in Dewey County, where he got involved in a shootout with Sheriff Clay Sander.

He was shot and killed Oct. 30, 2016 during a shootout with Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers.

Timothy Michael Deffner

Police say Deffner kicked in the front door of the home of attorney Bryan Young in the 700 block of Trisha Lane on Feb. 7, 2017.

Officers responding to the home a short time later found Young, 47, suffering from several gunshot wounds. Young, a former Norman North High School principal and soccer coach, was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Deffner then drove across town where he shot and killed his wife and set her home on fire. Hours later, his body was found.

Deffner shot and killed himself in rural Pottawatomie County later that day as law officers closed in on him.

Nathan Aaron LeForce

LeForce is accused of shooting a Logan County sheriff's deputy helping serve an eviction notice on April 18, 2017, before speeding away in the deputy's patrol pickup as officers returned fire,

Minutes later, the gunman stopped at a convenience store just west of Langston, where he reportedly stole a car at gunpoint and drove southwest on State Highway 33, toward Guthrie. Law officers would comb the area for hours before LeForce into custody.

Deputy David Wade, 40, was taken by helicopter to OU Medical Center with gunshot wounds to his face and body. Wade went into cardiac arrest, but doctors were able to revive him long enough to get him into surgery. Wade died on the operating table.

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