Man Sought in Killings Captured in Arkansas

June 21, 2024
A 50-year-old former Jimmie Hale Mission resident sought in three homicides in Oklahoma and charged in the May slaying of another man at a Tuscaloosa AA building is in custody in Arkansas.

MORRILTON, Arkansas -- A 50-year-old former Jimmie Hale Mission resident sought in three homicides in Oklahoma and charged in the May slaying of another man at a Tuscaloosa AA building is in custody in Arkansas.

Stacy Lee Drake, who lived as a transient in Birmingham, was wanted on three carjacking killings in Oklahoma and the slaying of 62-year-old Russell Thomas “Rusty” Andrews on May 14 on Jack Warner Parkway.

Three people were killed this week in Oklahoma - one victim in El Reno, and the other two in Gans. Those locations are about three hours apart.

He was taken into custody about 10 a.m. Thursday in a wooded area south of the intersection of University Boulevard and Poor Farm Road in Morrilton, Arkansas.

On Tuesday, the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office in Oklahoma and the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation responded to a double homicide in Gans.

Deputies about 6:30 p.m. responded to a business near State Highway 64 and South 4670 Road. When they arrived, they found a man and woman dead inside a business.

Both had injuries consistent with homicide, state authorities said, but did not elaborate.

Details of the third homicide in El Reno weren’t immediately available but OSBI said three people were killed during two separate carjackings.

“Drake is separately wanted on multiple felony warrants from multiple jurisdictions, with charges including aggravated robbery, carjacking, and murder,’’ according to the press release.

The vehicle Drake reportedly took during one of the crimes was found late Tuesday night parked at a hotel in Morrilton, Arkansas.

Morrilton police said Wednesday that Drake was seen on video in the hotel’s parking lot. The hotel was searched but Drake was not located.

Arkansas State Police said Wednesday night that Drake was last known to have purchased camping gear and all indications are he is still in the Morrilton area.

Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit Capt. Jack Kennedy on Thursday identified Drake as the charged suspect in Andrews’ slaying.

Kennedy on Thursday morning said Drake was reportedly taken into custody but had no additional information about the arrest. A press conference is planned for later in the day.

Andrews was found dead that Tuesday morning at the AA building. He was known for working with the recovery community.

“Rusty was a caring and generous individual, always striving to help others until the very end. He possessed a wonderful, cheerful sense of humor and was talented in many areas, including carpentry and gardening,’’ his obituary read. “He also had a keen interest in picking stocks. Rusty attended Tuscaloosa High School and was a proud member of the class of 1980.”

Kennedy said Thursday the investigation into the murder of Andrews led them to determine the suspect was transient.

“It was determined that the suspect was using a false name and had only been present in Tuscaloosa a few weeks,’’ Kennedy said. “After the murder, the victim’s vehicle was stolen by the suspect.”

Andrews’ vehicle was found on camera traveling along an interstate near the Arkansas- Oklahoma border area in the hours after the crime. To date, the victim’s vehicle has not been located or recovered, Kennedy said.

Investigators used multiple resources in an attempt to identify the suspect. These included electronic, forensic, and eventually human eyewitnesses, Kennedy said.

They ultimately identified the suspect as Drake, and obtained a murder warrant against him.

“Beginning with almost no information and a false name, the shared resources of VCU working together and the processes used in this case to identify Drake should be considered a major success,’’ he said.

“At the time of the warrant and the beginning of the law enforcement search, Drake should not have known that he had been identified by VCU but believed that he had escaped unidentified,’’ Kennedy said. “It was hoped that this would aid in his capture.”

Kennedy said the U.S. Marshal’s Service was called in to help search for Drake and multiple lookout bulletins were issued nationwide.

“Since that time the VCU and marshals have been working diligently to locate Drake in multiple locations throughout the country,’’ he said.

Kennedy said Alabama investigators are working with authorities in Oklahoma as the search and investigation continues.

Drake has an extensive criminal history in multiple states, including robberies, carjackings, and kidnappings.

Drake has committed crimes in Alabama before. In 2010 he was arrested and later indicted for numerous crimes in Pickens County.

Drake was convicted in the Feb. 21, 2010, carjacking of a 1993 GMC Sonoma. He was sentenced to 22 years in prison but placed on supervised release.

That supervised release was revoked in 2019, and Drake was revoked in 2019 and he was ordered in 2021 to serve 10 months with credit for time served.

He pleaded guilty in 2022 to first-degree robbery in Dale County, and received a 120-month suspended sentence.

©2024 Advance Local Media LLC. Visit Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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