JAY – Delaware County District Attorney Kenny Wright said on Thursday, June 28, he has cleared two Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers in the fatal shooting of a man who held a Delaware County man hostage for several hours.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Troopers Brian Costanza and Nathan Neill shot and killed Matthews Rogers, 34, of Kansas, on April 9 after Rogers broke into Tony and Connie Manley's mobile home in rural Delaware County located between Oaks and Twin Oaks, about a mile and a half from U.S. 412.
"The investigation was thorough," Wright said.
Randy McDonald, 23, of Pryor and Rogers were driving a stolen car and were spotted by an OHP trooper and a Delaware County sheriff's deputy.
The law enforcement officers had pulled off the highway and were discussing a rash of burglaries in Delaware and Cherokee counties.
The officers pursued the men for about two miles before they turned onto 575 Road, crashing the vehicle in a field, then fleeing on foot, with Rogers retreating to the Manley's residence and McDonald fleeing on foot.
Family members said Tony Manley, who is disabled, was pistol-whipped, by Rogers.
The 12-page autopsy report showed Rogers had methamphetamine and amphetamine in his system.
Wright said he received a voluminous amount of reports, video recordings, audio recordings, and photographs about the hostage situation.
"Their actions were justified," Wright said referring to the troopers' fatal shots.
Rogers received multiple gunshot wounds to his head. He also received gunshot wounds to the right side of his neck and to his right upper arm, the report states.
"The evidence demonstrates that Mr. Rogers' actions threatened the life of his hostage," Wright wrote in a May 31 letter to Col. Michael Harrell, Oklahoma Highway Patrol chief. "Not only did Rogers' actions threaten the life of Manley, but also to other law enforcement officers present at the scene and civilians," Wright wrote in the letter.
"Troopers Costanza and Neill had no reasonable alternative in the situation other than the use of deadly force to end the threat," Wright continued in his letter.
McDonald was charged in Delaware County District Court with possession of firearms after conviction or during probation, committing a felony with firearm with defaced identification number, both felonies and a misdemeanor charge of obstructing an officer.
He is due back in court on Aug. 14 for a preliminary hearing, online records show.
Mayes County District Court records show McDonald has several charges dating back to 2013, including possession of stolen vehicle, domestic assault and battery, obstructing and resisting an officer, concealing stolen property, weapons, and drug violations.