(Stillwater) — An ex-convict from Tryon and his son were being held in the Noble County Jail on $1 million bail each in connection with the robbery and severe stabbing of a Stillwater teenager at Lake McMurtry — whom they had met the previous night near the Oklahoma State University campus, authorities said.
    “They were looking for a victim,” Stillwater Police Lt. Mike Metcalf alleged in an interview with KUSH radio.
    Howard Michael Gashwazra, 40, a sex offender who got out of prison three years ago after serving time for crimes involving minors in Tryon and bomb threats in Stillwater, and his son, Aaron Scott Gashwazra, 24, were arrested at their Tryon residence last week, Metcalf said.
    Their alleged victim, 19-year-old Jason LeRoy Wells, who remains hospitalized, cannot speak because his throat was severely cut after he was stabbed in his back with a serrated steak knife at the lake Sept. 3, Metcalf said.
    The case was investigated by the Stillwater Police Department because Lake McMurtry is city-owned property even though it is located in Noble County, Metcalf said.
    “We were able to interview the victim Friday (Sept. 4) through written communication, which helped lead to the arrest of the father-son team,” Metcalf said.
    Wells, whose larynx had been cut, was able to write out answers to police questions, Metcalf said.
    Wells had been flown by Eager Med to the University of Oklahoma Medical Center in Oklahoma City after a fisherman saw him staggering through the woods and collapsing at a boat ramp at Lake McMurtry, Metcalf said.
    The Gashwazra father and son “met him around the strip area (south of the OSU campus) and engaged in a conversation about drinking and smoking dope,” as Wells was leaving a convenience store about 10:30 p.m. the night before the stabbing, Metcalf said.
    “They went to another convenience store and bought beer.
    “They were cruising around Lake McMutry for a while,” Metcalf said.
    “Aaron got pissed off and started beating,” the victim at a picnic area, Metcalf alleged.
    “Aaron stabbed him in the back — they thought he was dead,” Metcalf alleged.
    “When they went to drag his body in a wooded area, the victim came to and said something,” before Aaron Gashwazra slit the victim’s throat, Metcalf alleged.
    “According to dad, Aaron has anger issues,” Metcalf said.
    One of the suspects allegedly said that the knife was tossed in the lake, but police were unable to find it, Metcalf said.
    “We recovered Aaron’s ring at the lake.
    “We recovered from the suspects’ house in Tryon evidence that belonged to the victim that they had taken,” Metcalf alleged.
    “We also recovered trace evidence from the suspects,” Metcalf alleged.
    Asked what the Gashwazras allegedly took from the victim, Metalf said “his wallet, the money he had on him.”
    The father and son were each booked into jail on complaints of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to kill and robbery with a dangerous weapon, Noble County Sheriff Charlie Hanger said.
    According to Lincoln County court documents, Howard Gashwazra pleaded guilty in 2002 to two counts of assault with intent to commit a felony by grabbing one minor’s breasts and by giving another minor an unknown substance — rendering unconscious that minor who was also stuck with needles.
    Both of those assaults occurred at Howard Gashwazra’s residence in Tryon between Dec. 27, 2001 and Jan. 1, 2002, according to the charges.
    Howard Gashwazra was sentenced to five years in prison followed by five years of probation and ordered to register as a lifetime sex offender, court records show.
    He apparently got out of prison in 2006 and began serving the probationary part of his sentence, which was due to end in 2011, state Department of Corrections records show.
    In May, Howard Gashwazra was charged in Lincoln County with failure to notify an address change as a sex offender, court records show.
    He was freed on $3,000 bond pending a Sept. 29 court appearance, court records show.
    Howard Gashwazra also served a concurrent five-year prison sentence from Payne County for three counts of making telephone bomb threats in 1998 after his probation was revoked in 2004, court records show.
    Howard Gashwazra also was convicted in Payne County on two counts of bogus checks, for which he received five years’ probation in 1992, court records show.