Fletcher motel owner denies service to a man alleged involvement in a murder in OKC
Fletcher motel owner denies service to a man alleged involvement in a murder in OKC

FLETCHER - The owners of a motel in Fletcher denied service to a man seeking a room the morning of May 27. It turned out the individual was a suspect in an Oklahoma City murder case.

Jerry Scott Southard, 31, was arrested minutes later on the property of the Ozark Trail Motel. “This individual just walked up that day and was arrested like five, 10 minutes after he got here,” said Luis Jacquez, manager of the inn. Southard was sought in connection with the death of Justin Beaver, 32, who was found shot to death in an Oklahoma City apartment complex May 24.

According to Jacquez, Southard arrived at the Ozark Trail Motel on May 27 wanting to rent a room. It was Jacquez’s mother, Betty Hawkins, who was working the counter that morning.

“My mom walked up to the counter because she was already taking a reservation and the guy was standing in our office and I guess he had inquired about a room,” Jacquez said. “Since he did not have his ID, we didn't rent to him. Because that’s one of our security practices is to ask for an ID before we put somebody in a room for the safety of our guests and the safety of everybody on our premises.”

According to Jacquez, Southard then left the motel office and was outside in the parking lot when authorities arrived. “It took about five minutes for that to happen,” Jacquez said. “And he was arrested by the police.” Jacquez said neither he nor his mother called the police. At the time they had no idea who Southard was or that he was a murder suspect. “It was another individual that called the police,” Jacquez said. “We didn’t know who he was.”

Southard was involved in another incident earlier in the day that led the Fletcher Police Department to the motel looking for him. Jacquez said nothing like this has ever happened before since his family took over the motel. “We've been here for about six years,” he said. “We cooperate with the Fletcher police. Whenever we  have to call the police for a guest, we do, but we don’t have anything crazy like that happen.”

According to reports, Southard was out on bond for a variety of other arrests when he was taken into custody. He was then transported to the Tillman County Jail. He was being held without bond last Friday, May 29, pending transfer to Oklahoma City. “I was surprised that somebody like that was in Fletcher,” Jacquez said. “It's a pretty crazy thing to happen, but thankfully we have security protocols in place to deter people who have crimes and stuff like that from staying at our establishment. "We have lights that light up our parking lots and pathways, surveillance cameras that track our parking lot and pathway. We have staff on the premises 24/7.”