Third suspect convicted of murder in Lincoln County man’s beating, shooting death

LINCOLN COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR)- A third person has been convicted for his role in the murder of a Lincoln County man.

On Sept. 1, 2018, investigators found the body 65-year-old Donald Coleman on the front porch of his home near Stroud.

Authorities with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office determined that Coleman had been beaten and shot, and asked for assistance from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation.

During the investigation, agents learned three people went to Coleman’s home the evening before his body was found.

Officials allege that a violent struggle ensued when 34-year-old Jerry Richards, 31-year-old Deirdre Allen and 44-year-old Waylon Whitlow came into Coleman’s home. Investigators determined that Coleman was beaten with a hammer and an ax.

During the attack, one of the suspects stole a rifle from the home.

After the beating, Coleman was able to walk outside onto his porch. Investigators say that is when Jerry Richards shot him with the stolen rifle.

Richards, Allen, and Whitlow were all arrested and charged with one count of first-degree murder.

In June, Allen and Whitlow pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter and were sentenced to 15 years in prison.

On Thursday, a Lincoln County jury convicted Richards of second-degree murder and recommended a sentence of 37 years in prison.

Richards will be formally sentenced in November.

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