Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Local News

December 18, 2012

Family plea runs deep — Tearful words, complete with a plea for forgiveness, came from a defendant moments after he pleaded guilty to causing the injuries that killed his uncle last year in Wynnewood.

The emotional address by 21-year-old Zachary Deitrick came late Monday morning in a Pauls Valley courtroom during what had been scheduled to be the start of a non-jury trial in his first-degree manslaughter case.

Instead Deitrick reversed his plea and now awaits an unknown number of years in prison with a sentencing date scheduled for late January.

Deitrick was initially facing a murder charge after he fought with his uncle, Gregory Cook, and his father at a Wynnewood residence on April 18, 2011.

Cook was airlifted from the scene but died later that same night at Pauls Valley General Hospital.

The criminal charge was later amended to a manslaughter allegation. During Monday’s proceeding Deitrick agreed to put himself at the mercy of the court and his family members looking on in a Garvin County District courtroom.

“There’s not a day goes by I don’t think about it,” Deitrick said while choking back the emotions of the moment.

“I want to ask for forgiveness from my family. I want to do whatever I can to make this better on my family. That’s why I chose to plead guilty,” he said.

A voice from the courtroom spectators gave Deitrick a quick answer for his plea.

“I forgive you Zac and so does God. We love you,” said Larry Landress, uncle of Deitrick.

Tears continued to flow as Deitrick offered more during his plea for forgiveness, while also giving a brief peek into his thoughts about an incident that claimed the life of a family member.

“I’m sorry for what I did; because I did throw the punches; because of the blows from a fight and he died as a result,” Deitrick said.

“It all comes back on me. I never wanted my uncle to die. I didn’t know him that well, but he didn’t deserve to die. It wasn’t what I wanted,” he said.

“I apologize to my family. If I could take it back I would in a heart beat. I’m completely sorry.”

The defendant’s emotional address came shortly after his defense attorney Arlan Bullard announced Deitrick was waiving his right to a trial and was “entering a blind plea,” which means he is changing his plea even without a plea agreement in place with prosecutors.

He then reversed his plea to guilty and will now await the judge’s decision on his punishment.

The completion of a pre-sentence investigation is the next step followed by his sentencing now set for a 9 a.m. start on Jan. 28.

The only real question now centers on the number of years Deitrick will face in prison.

District Judge Greg Dixon explained to the defendant he is facing not less than four years incarceration and will be required to serve at least 85 percent of the term.

Text Only
Local News
  • Senior Housing Addition Senior housing gets first tenants

    The time is now for the official day one of a senior housing project as work continues to move forward on the west side of Pauls Valley.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bob's Pig Shop Fire Bob's Pig Shop Fire


    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • A school election that is no more

    First there was an election date, now there’s not as Wynnewood school officials are starting over searching for a new plan to address building needs.

    July 28, 2014

  • Dancing VBS Good times for VBS volunteers

    Summer can provide a plethora of enriching opportunities for kids with plenty of time to spend. One of the most popular avenues has always been the good old-fashioned vacation Bible school.

    July 25, 2014 3 Photos

  • Pup up for adoption 7-25-14 Pauls Valley Pup up for Adoption


    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • One hurt in head-on wreck

    Authorities are not sure what caused a vehicle to veer to the left resulting in a head-on collision near Hennepin early Wednesday.

    July 25, 2014

  • Winners plentiful at peach festival

    With no shortage of visitors making the Stratford Peach Festival a summer destination, it was a win-win situation for all parties this past weekend.

    July 24, 2014

  • Indian Meridian and Grant Wreck Indian Meridian and Grant Wreck


    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Search on for new 911 boss

    The search for a replacement is now on after it was announced the coordinator of Garvin County’s 911 center is stepping down.

    July 24, 2014

  • Stratford Peach Festival 2014 PeachFest draws big crowd

    Unseasonably comfortable weather, a day full of family fun and one of the best fruit crops in recent years. Mix that together and you have one of the best-attended Stratford Peach Festival’s on record.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

Business Marquee

  • How You Want It When You Want It Today's Pauls Valley Democrat

    Now you can view and download the Democrat right to your desktop on the day the paper is published. Click here to get more information on the Democrat's e-Edition.





    e-mail request to

    April 20, 2011 1 Photo 1 Link

AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow