Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 31, 2009

Grand jury petitioners praise supporters


Editor,

On behalf of a valiant legal effort to find a measure of justice in our community, the petitioners for the grand jury express our deepest thanks to Garvin County and her citizens for their trust and support throughout these proceedings. We would also like to thank the following individual persons who so greatly assisted us in the cause:

First and foremost we would like to thank Mr. Tom Horton himself, our father, colleague, teacher and friend for instilling in us, by his example, the way things ought to be. We would also like to thank our attorney, Mr. Larry Balcerak for his patient counsel and unerring legal insight in the face of overwhelming odds. Not a finer lawyer exists in all of Garvin County. Many thanks to Brenda Petty of Duncan for her expertise, professionalism and good cheer amid trying circumstances.

Great thanks go to the energetic and unforgettable Mrs. Geraldine Lister whose really awesome homemade beef jerky sustained us through those long hot summer days of petitioning. Thanks also to Charmane Wallace for her endless humor and legwork, which was indispensable through the roughest moments of the petition drive. Thanks to Debbie Freeman for her hard work and sunburn, as well.

Special thanks to Mr. L.D. Smith, a ramrod straight man of the land in the mold of Mr. Horton, who tirelessly sought out the farmers and ranchers in the farthest corners of Garvin County to spread the word about the petition.

Heartfelt thanks to Mr. Jeff Davis for the kind extended use of his real estate, the site of the legendary Sinclair station at the corner of Ash and Grant in Pauls Valley. Special thanks to all the merchants across Garvin County who brought petition books to their businesses and met us with concern and a kind word each and every day. Thank you to those persons who came out of nowhere in the 104 degree heat and brought us ice cream from McDonald’s and drinks from Sonic, fresh ice, good conversation, insight, prayers and support.

Thanks to the Devinneys, David and Susan, and the Turners, Joe and Donna, for the gracious sharing of their respective insight. May your combined effort bring justice in the months to come on questions unanswered.

Deep thanks go to Pastors Dr. Bruce McCray of the Elmore City First Baptist Church and Wayne Wall of the Wynnewood First Baptist Church and their congregations for their compassion and concern. Thanks also to members of the Liberty Baptist Church and the First United Methodist Church as well as all those parishioners of all faiths who kept us in their hearts.

Thanks to those members of the media including Shelley Ridenour, Barry Porterfield, Larry Russell, Jeff Schulz, Shelby Levins, Nick Winkler, Gan Mathews, Ron Jackson and Robert Medley for their professional, unbiased and forthright reporting of the event. Your journalistic integrity helped maintain legitimacy for a good cause and it is much appreciated.

Special thanks to Gayla Dean for her hard work at the election board in the thankless position of counting our petition signatures with a smile and without ever batting an eye. Thanks to those staff members of the district attorney’s office who were polite and considerate and to the grand jurors themselves who undertook their civic duty and sacrificed time away from loved ones and home.

And thanks, most of all, to those 2,736 hard-working, law-abiding citizens from Garvin County, Oklahoma, who stood up to give us a chance to be heard. Your assistance will not be forgotten.

Sincerely,

Pat Horton

Matt Horton

Raymond Bazor

Karen Bazor

Shannon Kile

Tom Horton family and friends