Accused killer caught

By Johnny O’Mara, Crime Editor    
Wednesday, 01 August 2007
Tulsa Police captured a man who they say beat another man to death with a baseball bat. The victim, Kris Simmons, 26, had been driven to Saint Francis Hospital Sunday night by private auto where doctors initially believed his massive injuries had been caused by a gunshot but later determined that Simmons had been badly beaten with a baseball bat and suffered puncture wounds.

Police were called to Saint Francis and also to the Westminster apartment complex, near 51st and Memorial, where a witness reported seeing two men loading Simmons into a woman’s car.  Police at both scenes began piecing the story together and later located the woman who reportedly told officers that Matthew Dustin Abrego 22, had beaten Simmons with the ball bat and that Michael Lee Watson, 24, had tried to use a mop to clean the crime scene. Police reported finding pooled blood outside of one of the apartments and discovered other indicators that a violent crime had taken place inside.

Watson was captured on Monday and charged with being an accessory to the beating.  In a affidavit, police accused Abrego of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon but that charge was made before Simmons died at 4 P.M. that afternoon.  Likely, the charges will be amended to include a homicide charge.  Simmons’ killing marked Tulsa’s 39th killing for the year but other homicides since Sunday brought the total up to 42 for 2007.

On Tuesday, officers were looking for Abrego and had received information that he had traded a Cadillac for a “crotch rocket” motorcycle.  Just before 5 PM, a Tulsa traffic officer spotted a motorcycle and rider, matching the description of the homicide suspect, traveling on highway 169 at a high rate of speed. The officer tried to catch up with the bike but the rider, who police say was Abrego,  exited on 21st street and continued at high speed westbound on 21st until he reached Memorial Drive where police say he ran a red light and crashed into a northbound van.

Police say Abrego ran from the crash scene and went into the Monterey apartments, 1785 South Memorial, but police were able to follow him into the complex.  Officers approached Abrego where officers say he shrunk and whimpered, “Please don’t hurt me.”

As officers were taking Abrego into custody, reports indicate he was carrying a 9mm pistol and what appeared to be narcotics.  Abrego will be charged with the homicide and may face charges of attempting to elude officers, leaving the scene of an accident, unlawfully possessing a firearm, and possession of a controlled and dangerous substance.  Both Abrego and Watson have criminal histories.
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 01 August 2007 )