Ponca City family infuriated when man responsible for woman’s death given probation at nursing home

PONCA CITY, Okla. - A woman's family is in disbelief after the man authorities say is responsible for her death is walking free.

Gary Eggers was charged with manslaughter for the death of his girlfriend, Sandra Haight. Authorities say he beat her during a fight, and she later died from those injuries.

Earlier this month, 74-year-old Eggers entered an Alford plea, a guilty plea in maintaining his innocence, but admitting there was enough evidence that a jury would likely find him guilty. He was sentenced to five years probation, to be spent in a nursing home.

Now Sandra's family says it's a gross injustice for a man they say used to beat her regularly.

"She started telling me that he was abusing her, that he hit her," said Sandra's sister, Karen Little Cook.

Then one day in 2014, it went too far. According to court documents, he beat her during an argument, after which Sandra "could not walk" and had "bruising about her arms, face, back, under her chin, ankles and legs."

"She had her hands over her face, and I pulled her hands down, and then I looked at her, and I just started crying," Little Cook said.

Sandra was sent home, but her condition worsened. When she returned to the hospital just hours later, doctors said she had "a brain bleed...and her kidneys were shutting down."

When it became clear she wasn't going to wake up and recover, her family made the impossible decision to take her off life support, and she died.

Now Eggers was given 90 days to go to a nursing home.

"Seen him in the casinos, claims he has Alzheimer's," said Sandra's brother, Roy Hinman. "He didn't have it when he beat her up."

Sandra's family, children, and grandchildren, are heartbroken, and at a loss, feeling the legal system failed her.

"That's not fair," Little Cook said, "because he still has privileges. His family can still go in there and check him out, take him home."

News 4 reached out to Brian Hermanson for a week for comment on why he signed off on the sentence, but he never returned any phone calls.

News 4 also reached out to Eggers' attorney who said he can't comment because of pending civil litigation.

"It kind of makes me feel like I don`t believe in the system anymore," said Cook. "I'm really angry at the system."

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