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Archive for Tuesday, December 12, 1989

CHARGES FILED AGAINST ESCAPEE

December 12, 1989

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Felony charges were filed Monday afternoon against an escapee from an Oklahoma prison who allegedly fired a pistol at a Lawrence Security Patrol guard Sunday night.

Roy S. Copenhouser, 45, was charged with felony counts of aggravated assault, attempted burglary and possessing burglary tools stemming from the incident, which allegedly began as an attempted break-in at Dale Willey Pontiac-Cadillac Inc., 2840 Iowa.

At a hearing in Douglas County District Court Monday, a preliminaray hearing for Copenhouser was scheduled for Dec. 21.

Jerry Massie, public information officer for the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, today said Copenhouser escaped from custody Thursday. He said Copenhouser was serving a 10-year sentence for kidnapping and burglary at the Jess Dunn Correctional Center, a minimum-security facility in, Taft, Okla.

Police said Copenhouser drove a truck stolen from Oklahoma to Lawrence.

Police reported that the security guard, 28, beat law enforcement officers to the scene of the break-in shortly before midnight. The guard, officers said, chased Copenhouser down and tackled him.

But as the two were wrestling on the ground, Copenhouser grabbed the security guard's gun and forced the guard to handcuff himself, officers said.

Shortly afterward, officers from the Lawrence Police Department and the Douglas County Sheriff's Department arrived. As the officers were running to the scene, police said, they heard a shot.

After the shot was fired, a Lawrence police officer drew his pistol and fired one shot at Copenhouser. The bullet struck and shattered the window of a vehicle near Copenhouser, and glass struck and cut the suspect, who fell down.

The Lawrence Police Department formed a three-member board of inquiry Monday to review the shooting. The board, which consists of two lieutenants and a sergeant, will determine whether the officer was justified in firing his weapon.

The board will then report to Lt. Mike Hall, acting police chief. Hall whose boss, Lawrence Police Chief Ron Olin is on vacation will discuss the results with the officer.

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