LESTER BLACKBEAR was one day away from freedom--then the past caught up with him. Blackbear was charged with first-degree murder in the 1983 unsolved slaying of Ola Kirk, 77, in Geary, Oklahoma. Blackbear--a lifelong criminal--was always on the periphery over three decades and now, kindly Ola's family is finally at peace.
Kay Mathews said: "It's a relief. Maybe the wait is over. I know it's probably going to be a long process yet, but it's getting closer and the family wants closure." Last year a retired detective--who claimed investigators dropped the ball in the original probe-- found Blackbear living off the grid in Phoenix, Arizona after doing time for several other violent crimes. He was extradited back to Oklahoma on an unrelated charge and sentenced to a short prison term. Blackbear was denied parole while OSBI tested old evidence from the murder scene for new DNA samples, and it paid off. Blackbear could face the death penalty if convicted.