By: Patti Weaver
(Stillwater, Okla.) — A Stillwater man was given a 10-year prison term Wednesday for firing multiple rounds into a truck driven by a Ripley man, whom he had met while they were incarcerated in the Cimarron Correctional Facility in Cushing.
Brandon Todd Hatchett, 46, pleaded guilty Wednesday to using his truck to shoot into a truck driven by Charles Kirk, 35, who had served a prison sentence for murder, court records show. District Judge Phillip Corley ordered that Hatchett serve his sentence in federal custody, where he has been held for more than a year.
Payne County Sheriff’s Investigator Brandon Myers interviewed Hatchett in custody at 12:44 a.m. on April 6, 2019, the morning after the shooting, an affidavit said.
Hatchett said “he had learned that Charles was making threats to kill him and his son, and he said that this was going on for a few weeks,” the affidavit alleged.
“He decided to locate some family firearms for protection…He said he went looking for Charles, first at his main residence on the northeast side of Ripley,” and then at a woman’s house where Hatchett said he got the attention of Kirk, who came outside, the affidavit alleged.
“He admitted he pointed an AR-15 at him and told him that he wanted to meet him at the river. He said he left, circled the block when he saw that Charles was following him, then circled the block again with Charles getting in front of him headed north on Morton Avenue,” in Ripley, the affidavit alleged.
“He said just before they got to Main Street, Charles braked hard making him (Hatchett) go around him on the passenger side. Brandon (Hatchett) claims that Charles rammed his truck and pulled out a gun pointing it at Brandon (Hatchett),” the affidavit alleged.
Hatchett said “that is when he fired a bunch of rounds into Charles’ truck. He said he remembered seeing Charles’ truck northbound through the empty lot north and east of Main Street and Morton,” in Ripley, the affidavit alleged.
Hatchett said “he did not know what to do and left town northbound on Hwy. 108. He also admitted that he did some searching and did learn that Charles had been in prison and then snitched out a guy on a murder case,” the affidavit alleged.
Hatchett was arrested about three hours after the Ripley shooting when his truck got stuck in mud near Coyle, north of Highway 33, according to now-Sheriff Kevin Woodward, who was then the undersheriff. Hatchett had stayed in his vehicle for an hour before he surrendered to Logan County authorities, Woodward said.
Before Hatchett was arrested, the Payne County sheriff’s investigator was able to talk to him on his cell phone, the affidavit said.
“He told me that Charles had threatened to kill him and his son. He told me that he was rammed by Charles Kirk and he shot at him. He was manic and would talk to me for a few moments, then hang up on me…He told me this was not going to end well — and that he was not going back to prison,” the sheriff’s investigator wrote in his affidavit.
Kirk had escaped on foot after he crashed into a gas meter north and east of the intersection of Main Street and Morton Avenue, which is Hwy. 108, the affidavit said.
Kirk was found hiding under a building just west of Biddle Street, the affidavit said. Kirk’s right leg was injured and treated, Woodward said.
“It appears that one round went into the door, fragmented into smaller pieces hitting Charles (Kirk) in the right leg,” the affidavit said.
Kirk’s truck had “multiple bullet holes in the front windshield, the front of the truck, and the passenger side, we believe from this incident,” Woodward said.
When Hatchett’s truck was searched, no bullet holes were located, the affidavit said.
“I located numerous spent .223 caliber shell casings on the dash and in the floorboard,” the sheriff’s investigator wrote in his affidavit.
Hatchett’s truck had, in the driver’s side door pocket, a Remington 12 gauge shotgun that was chamber-loaded with a live round and six rounds in the detachable magazine, the affidavit alleged.
In the driver’s seat, Hatchett had a .40 caliber semi-automatic pistol with one round in the chamber and 12 rounds in the magazine, the affidavit alleged.
On the passenger’s seat, Hatchett had an AR-15 rifle chambered in .223 with a 45 round magazine loaded with one in the chamber and 32 rounds in the magazine, the affidavit alleged.
Also in the passenger’s seat, there was another AR-15 rifle chambered in .223, another 12 gauge shotgun with five rounds of 12 gauge slug and in a side saddle attached to the frame, seven rounds in the magazine, the affidavit alleged.
Also in the front passenger seat was an AR-10 chambered in .308 with 10 rounds in the magazine and one round in the chamber, the affidavit alleged.
In a black bag on the passenger floorboard was a Taurus .38 special five-shot revolver with five live rounds in the cylinder, the affidavit alleged.
“Throughout the truck, we located hundreds of rounds of ammunition coinciding with the same calibers as firearms located in the vehicle,” the affidavit alleged.
Under the truck’s dashboard was a functioning scanner capable of receiving police radio frequencies including the Payne County Sheriff’s Office frequency, the affidavit alleged.
When the sheriff’s investigator asked a witness what was the problem between the pair, he said “the only thing he can think of is that Brandon (Hatchett) found out Charles (Kirk) was in prison on a homicide case and that he snitched out the other party involved in the homicide,” the affidavit alleged.
“Looking at Charles’ vehicle and the bullet trajectories, interviews with Charles and Brandon, it appears that Charles is telling the truth that Brandon began shooting prior to him striking Brandon’s truck,” the affidavit alleged.
According to court records and the state Department of Corrections, Hatchett has a 17-year criminal record with convictions in multiple jurisdictions including Payne County where he served time for kidnapping and assault with a dangerous weapon between 2000 and 2003. Hatchett had been released from prison in 2018 after serving about half of a 12-year sentence for auto theft in McCurtain County in 2011.
According to court records and the state Department of Corrections, Kirk had been released from prison in 2018 after serving eight years of a 10-year sentence for second-degree murder in 2009 in Rogers County. Kirk had also been charged in Payne County with assault with a dangerous weapon in Cushing in 2005 for which he was originally given probation that was revoked in 2008 to three years in prison.