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Man charged with murder in fatal shooting of Okla. deputy

The district attorney vowed she'll seek the death penalty against Nathan LeForce because of the "particularly heinous, atrocious and cruel" nature of the crime


By Justin Juozapavicius
Associated Press

MULHALL, Okla. — A man suspected of fatally shooting an Oklahoma deputy was charged Thursday with murder, and the district attorney later vowed she'll seek the death penalty against him because of the "particularly heinous, atrocious and cruel" nature of the crime.

Nathan LeForce, 45, was charged Thursday in Logan County with first-degree murder, larceny of a vehicle and armed robbery, court records show. Those records don't list an attorney for him, and he remains jailed.

In this April 18, 2017, file photo provided by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, Nathan LeForce is pictured after his arrest near Guthrie, Okla. (Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office via AP)
In this April 18, 2017, file photo provided by the Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office, Nathan LeForce is pictured after his arrest near Guthrie, Okla. (Oklahoma County Sheriff's Office via AP)

Logan County Deputy David Wade, 40, died Tuesday after he was shot while serving an eviction notice at a home near Mulhall, about 50 miles north of Oklahoma City. Wade was shot several times, including in the face, and returned fire before radioing in for help.

Video from Wade's body-worn camera captured LeForce approaching Wade with a raised handgun and firing at the deputy, according to charging documents filed in court Thursday. After the first shot, as "Wade goes down and is obviously suffering from a gunshot wound," several more gunshots could be heard in rapid succession, the documents said.

Authorities said LeForce then took Wade's patrol vehicle and drove at a high speed to a convenience store, where he stole another car at gunpoint, according to the affidavit. That car was found abandoned near Guthrie, where LeForce was later found hiding in an outbuilding and surrendered to police.

After LeForce appeared before a judge, Logan County District Attorney Laura Thomas said in a statement to The Associated Press that she'll prepare a death penalty case because of the brutality of the crime.

"Not all first degree murder cases qualify for the death penalty in Oklahoma. This is one that does," Thomas said in a statement. "I'm angry our deputy was murdered. I'm angered at that portion of society that is already looking for a way to justify the unjustifiable and finding excuses for the inexcusable."

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said earlier Thursday that the gun used in the shooting has not been found. Agency spokeswoman Jessica Brown said law enforcement agencies are still searching for the gun to find out if it had been used in other crimes and to prevent a child from finding it first.

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