ENID, Okla. — Jury selection is under way in the trial of a 23-year-old Enid man charged in connection to the July 15, 2015, death of Michael Ryan Hayes.
Larry Lee Lawson III was charged last July with first-degree murder with deliberate intent or, in the alternative, first-degree murder. Both charges are punishable by life in prison, life without the possibility of parole or death.
Lawson’s charges were amended this May to include a felony count of possession of a firearm with a defaced serial number in the commission of a felony. It is punishable by two to five years imprisonment and/or a fine of $1,000 to $10,000.
Fifty prospective jurors were called for Lawson’s trial before District Judge Dennis Hladik. It is scheduled for five days. Assistant District attorneys Irene Asai and Jason Seigars are representing the state. Lawson is being represented by court-appointed attorney Blake Gibson.
Court documents list a possible 48 witnesses who could testify in the case.
According to an affidavit filed in the case, Enid Police Department officers responded at 9:49 p.m. July 15 to a shooting at 616 N. 7th. Officers arrived and found Hayes had been shot. Hayes was taken by Life EMS to St. Mary's Regional Medical Center and was pronounced dead at 10:41 p.m.
Detective Justin Skaggs spoke with Hayes' stepfather, Shawn Ensminger, and asked him to meet with officers at the police station.
Ensminger told police he was at his residence when Michael Pugh and Johnny Becker arrived and told him “that some guys were planning to jump them,” according to the affidavit. Ensminger said an SUV and a maroon and gray pickup pulled up down the street from the residence.
Ensminger told detectives Shay Mootz got out of the pickup and ran toward his residence. Ensminger said Mootz threw a beer bottle at him and hit him a couple of times, according to the affidavit. Ensminger said he fought with Mootz, knocking Mootz the ground. Ensminger said Mootz's friends picked him up from the ground and stated they would be back, according to the affidavit.
Ensminger said the individuals left but began threatening him via text message and with phone calls, according to the affidavit. Ensminger said during the last phone call, Lawson told him he was going to “put a bullet in me.”
Ensminger said about an hour later the maroon pickup returned, driving north on 7th, and there were four people in the cab, with Mootz in the passenger seat, according to the affidavit. Ensminger said there were five or six people in the bed of the pickup. He said Lawson was in the bed of the pickup and appeared to be on his knees with his stomach against the tailgate. Ensminger said Lawson fired about five shots at them from the bed of the pickup, according to the affidavit.
Ensminger told detectives everyone who was with him began running away as Lawson jumped out of the bed of the pickup, according to the affidavit. Ensminger said Lawson ran toward him and fired another gunshot at the end of the driveway.
Ensminger told detectives he pushed Hayes out of the way as Lawson continued toward him, according to the affidavit. Ensminger said when Lawson was about 5 feet away from him he asked Lawson, “What are you going to do now?” Ensminger said Lawson raised the gun, pointed it at him and fired another round, according to the affidavit. Ensminger said Hayes dove in front of him and was struck in the head by the bullet.
Ensminger said Lawson ran back toward the pickup as it was backing down the street. He said when Lawson got in the bed of the pickup it sped away.
At 2:06 a.m. July 16, Lawson went to the police station to turn himself in for the shooting, according to the affidavit. Detective Shawn Ramsey spoke with Lawson, who said he went to 616 N. 7th and fired a gun multiple times at individuals in the yard of the residence, striking one person.
Lawson told Ramsey he knew the person struck by the bullets had died.