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Charges dismissed against man accused of killing woman at gas station in 2011

Posted at 5:07 PM, Sep 09, 2020

TULSA, Okla. — On Wednesday, a murder charge is dismissed against a man accused of killing a woman at a gas station in 2011, according to the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office.

55-year-old Peggy Gaytan, a former store clerk, was shot and killed during a robbery at the Shell Station in midtown Tulsa near 36th and Harvard.

“It’s just not okay," said Jennifer Harmon, Gaytan's friend and neighbor. "She was killed on her very last shift at this job right before Christmas. She was our friend and it’s just wrong.”

READ MORE: Tulsa police make arrest in 2011 murder of Peggy Gaytan

Patrick Hamstard was arrested this year in May and charged with felony murder and attempted robbery with a deadly weapon.

Now, those charges are dropped after the primary witness refused to testify.

“It’s too risky to put on a case like this with somebody that’s not going to cooperate," said Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler. "You don’t want to chance that and then make it more difficult or actually put the case in a posture you’d never be able to prosecute.”

While the charges are now dropped, that doesn’t mean the search for answers is over. The case will now go back to law enforcement, which will continue what it started.

“It’s not like starting back at the drawing board and starting from scratch," Kunzweiler said. "We’ve got a pretty good idea of what we need to be looking at. Hopefully, we can obtain what we know we need in order to move forward on the case.”

Jennifer Harmon said she believes Hamstard killed Gaytan. She, along with other friends, family and neighbors, have spent the past nine years working for justice and aren’t stopping now.

“If he thinks that the city is going to go away, and by city, I mean the Tulsa community. If he thinks that we’re going to stop, he’s wrong," Harmon said.

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