97-Year-Old Man Admits To Killing Great-Granddaughter For 'Carrying On'

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

A 97-year-old Oklahoma man was arrested and charged with first-degree murder Friday after he allegedly shot his 30-year-old great granddaughter in his home on Thursday.

Russell Eugene Dawes admitted to Payne County sheriff’s deputies that he shot and killed his great-granddaughter Sonja James for “carrying on,” authorities said in an affidavit.

Dawes asked his hunting buddy of 30 years, Rodger Floyd, for help with the body Friday morning, according to court documents. Floyd is the owner of Davis Funeral Home in Cushing, Okla.

Floyd said he thought he was going to Dawes’ home to pick up a body. He didn’t realize he was entering a crime scene.

James suffered a gunshot wound to the chin, authorities said.

“He said, 'I got tired of it,'” Floyd told the New York Daily News Sunday.

“I said, ‘Who?’ He said, 'My granddaughter. I shot and killed her.’”

“I said, ‘What?’” Floyd recalled. “I was devastated.”

James suffered a gunshot wound to the chin, authorities said.

She leaves behind an 8-year-old son.

Her foster mother Lori Shrewcraft said she was patient, smart and creative woman.

"She was always like an angel. She was very nurturing. I had her for like three years in my home, her teenage years," said Shrewcraft. "I will learn to just deal with it slowly."

Floyd said Dawes was calm when he arrived and told him that James hadn’t been taking proper care of him. James moved into Dawes’ home about six months ago, after his wife was relocated to a nursing home. Floyd didn’t know that his friend was having trouble with James.

“At no time did I feel I was in jeopardy at all,” Floyd said. “He did not have his gun.”

“I don’t know if he thought he could get [away] with it,” Floyd said. “He probably knew he did wrong. When they took him away he said to take good care of her [great-] granddaughter” by handling the funeral arrangements.

“I never had something like that before,” he added. “I hope I never will again.”

Dawes appeared in court Friday and is currently being held without bail at the county jail.

The Payne County District Attorney Tom Lee says Dawes is by far the oldest murder suspect his office has ever seen.

Sources: New York Daily News, News 9