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National Briefing / Oklahoma

Man charged in deputies' slayings

July 28, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A man accused of killing two deputies who were trying to arrest him grinned and chuckled as he appeared in court and learned prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty.

Ezekiel Gilbert Ray Holbert, 26, of Seminole, was charged in Seminole County District Court with two counts of first-degree murder in the Sunday shootings of sheriff's deputies Robbie Chase Whitebird, 23, and Marvin Williams, 43. He was ordered held without bond.

Holbert also faces three counts of shooting with intent to kill. Dist. Atty. Chris Ross alleges that Holbert fired shots at two other officers and a neighbor.

The neighbor, 22-year-old Jenifer Bowen, had just returned from a walk with her two children when a bullet hit her arm and entered her chest, said her mother-in-law, Janet Bowen. She was hospitalized in serious condition.

Whitebird and Williams were trying to arrest Holbert for failing to make a court appearance after he was released on bond in a domestic violence case in February. In that case, his mother said he tried to strangle her, records show. An affidavit said, "Ms. Holbert and her kids are in fear of Ezekiel's explosive behavior."

Ross said Holbert also has a "history of involuntary commitments" for psychiatric problems.

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