OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Twenty-five years ago 53-year-old Clifford W. Eagle helped commit murder. He kept it a secret until last week.
Eagle, homeless and living in Montana, walked up to a police officer in Billings, Montana, on April 18, and confessed his involvement in the murder of Leo Boyd Reasoner, a commissioner in Haskell County, Oklahoma, at the time. Reasoner was found in his pickup truck with a bullet wound to his temple on June 25, 1987.
According to court documents, Eagle said he and another man, Vince Allen Johnson, were driving down a rural Oklahoma road when they met Reasoner, who accused Johnson of stealing from him. Eagle said Johnson jumped out of his vehicle and yelled at Reasoner who, according to Eagle, was reaching for a gun. Johnson and Eagle both drew pistols and fired at Reasoner.
Eagle’s confession took Haskell County police and Reasoner’s family by surprise. Billings, Mont., police said Eagle, although homeless, appeared to be in a “good mental state” when he confessed to Lt. Kevin Effland.
Eagle remains in police custody, but it’s unclear at this time when he will be extradited back to Haskell County. It also remains unclear why Eagle confessed to the crime 25 years later.
Eagle’s accomplice, Vince Allen Johnson, was executed in Oklahoma in 2001 for the 1991 murder of a woman that police believe was a murder-for-hire plot.