The Woodward News

Local News

August 23, 2013

Jury to get murder case Friday

Woodward, Okla. — It is now up to a 7-man, 5-woman jury to decide the fate of David Lee Yelloweagle.

Yelloweagle is accused of participating in the alleged fatal beating of Jon Michael Watkins in Sept. 2010.  He appeared in Woodward County District Court this week for trial on a charge of 2nd degree murder.

On the third day of trial on Thursday the state called 2 additional witnesses before resting it's case, allowing the jury to hear testimony from an OSBI investigator, who testified about Yelloweagle's "somewhat detached" demeanor during interrogations, and from an eyewitness of the attack on Watkins.

AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT

Prosecutors called Ashley Carriger to testify to what she remembered from the night of Sept. 22, 2010 as she was one of the group of people with Watkins in his final hours.

Carriger testified about meeting up with Watkins, Yelloweagle, Dillan Hager, Shawn Spencer and Arial Bozarth during a party at a friend's house and then leaving with them to go get more alcohol and drive "out in the country."

After stopping on a dirt road, she said "we were drinking and I think Jon and Dillan had called their girlfriends."  When they both got off the phone, she said "Jon wanted to go back to Woodward and go home, but Dillan for some reason didn't want him to go."

At some point after that she said that while standing in the back of the pickup Watkins dared Hager to hit him.  She said she watched the assault while standing on the ground from the side of the pickup

"Dillan proceeded to hit him," Carriger said.  "He hit him straight to his face and Jon fell.  Then Dillan proceeded to uppercut him and he fell again."

After the first punch, she said Watkins fell to his knees and after the second he "fell straight down and I didn't see him no more."

She said the assault then continued as "Dillan started kicking him" and Spencer and Yelloweagle then jumped up into the pickup bed and allegedly began kicking Watkins as well.

"I was yelling, 'Stop! Stop! Stop!" Carriger said, because she felt "that 3 on one is not right."

However, she said it was the screaming from Bozarth who was standing beside her that finally got the 3 men to stop the attack.

Then leaving Watkins alone in the back, Carriger said she joined the others in the cab of the pickup where Hager began "driving, ramping and going through fences" for about 5 to 10 minutes.

Eventually Hager stopped the pickup and they all got out where Carriger said the next thing she remembers is "just smelling blood."

She said they pulled Watkins' body from the bed of the pickup and she and Bozarth attempted to perform CPR.  Unable to resuscitate him, she said they returned Watkins to the pickup bed and decided to leave his body there as they returned to Woodward.

She testified that she later went along with Hager and Spencer the next day on Sept. 23, 2010 to report Watkins' death but didn't initially tell the truth "because of fear."

Noting she is a former drug addict, Carriger said she has some memory problems.  She also testified about being unable to recall exact times, saying "my concept of time is not very good."

However, she said she was telling the truth in court Thursday because "I just want to do what's right."

She also testified that she regrets not standing up for Watkins sooner.

"I should've stood up that night and done more," a tearful Carriger said.  "Even though I didn't know him, he didn't deserve to die."

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