Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Front Page

July 10, 2014

Murder trial photos on graphic side — Much of Tuesday’s testimony in the first-degree murder trial of Justin Hammer proved to be just as dramatic as expected.

Emotions remained in check for an eight-man, four-woman jury as one graphic photo after another was shown during testimony on the autopsy of Brandon Duran nearly two years ago now. Hammer, 32, has admitted to cutting Duran into 25 pieces after killing him by gunshot.

The deadly incident took place on Aug. 7, 2012 in the residence where Hammer lived near Elmore City. Hammer later used six separate containers to try and dispose of the body parts in the bottom of a farm pond on the property.

Hammer has maintained he feared for his life and killed Duran in self defense. The graphic photos of Duran’s dismembered body parts were on full display and included in the testimony by Dr. Chai Choi of the state medical examiner’s office. Choi provided jurors with more details about her findings, including her conclusions on how Duran died.

Duran sustained a single shotgun wound to the head, but Choi described it as “likely” the three handgun shots also into his head are probably what killed him.

“Maybe the shotgun wound was fatal if you didn’t get medical attention right away,” Choi said. “Probably not but possible. There were three gunshots that went into the brain and didn’t come out,” she said, adding nine fragments from those shots were recovered from Duran’s head. “Individually — one, two, three — the shots could have been fatal. Altogether, absolutely fatal.”

She told jurors the shotgun blast, fired “in close range” of Duran, went into his right cheek and exited on the left side of his face. The three shots from a .22 caliber handgun were fired in Duran’s left temple. Findings from the autopsy led Choi to believe Duran’s body was dismembered by Hammer using a saw only after he was dead.

 A toxicology analysis showed Duran did not have any alcohol or drugs in his system when he was fatally shot, Choi said during her testimony.

Later in Tuesday’s proceedings Hammer’s father, Bobby Hammer, testified he was the actual owner of the house where his son lived when Duran was killed. The older Hammer said a .22 caliber revolver with blood on the end was found inside a safe in the house.

Text Only
Local News
Pauls Valley Sinkhole

A state crew was busy working to repair a large hole in the southbound lane of Chickasaw Street in Pauls Valley. Traffic was diverted around the work site near Joy Avenue during the day.

  • Luan Adams

    Luan Adams, 77, of Wynnewood was born Oct. 22, 1936 and passed away July 27, 2014.

    July 29, 2014

  • Sybil Leach

    Sybil Fern Leach of Wynnewood, Oklahoma was born to Al Bonnie and Donnie May (Boyd) Vanderburg on December 31, 1916 in Hot Springs, Arkansas and passed from this life on July 28, 2014 in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma at the age of 97 years.

    July 29, 2014

  • Eva L. Dickson Wright

    Eva L. Dickson Wright, passed away July 25, 2014 at her home in Purcell, Oklahoma at the age of 77 years.

    July 29, 2014

  • Francis Leona ‘Chock’ Rutledge

    Francis Leona “Chock” Rutledge, 94, of Lindsay was born Nov. 29, 1919 and passed away July 22, 2014 in Norman, Okla.

    July 25, 2014

Community News
State News
  • Purcell, Lex bridge ready for traffic

    A couple of area communities are likely feeling a collective sense of relief as a normally well traveled bridge is set to reopen this week.

    June 13, 2014

  • Robbery Suspect Search on after bank robbery

    A manhunt is on for a lone man who robbed a Pauls Valley bank early Monday afternoon.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

Business Marquee
Entertainment Reviews
Planes 2 Artwork

Artwork for "Planes: Fire and Rescue," showing this week at the Royal Twin Theater of Pauls Valley.

Must Read
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Raw: Earthquake Rocks Mexico's Gulf Coast Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Gaza Official: at Least 100 Killed Tuesday Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Fox Dons 'Bondage Strap' Skirt at Comic-Con Raw: NH Man Held on $1M in Teen's Kidnapping Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Aftermath, Artillery Shells Hit Donetsk