Teenage son arrested for mother's murder following police standoff

TULSA - A teenage son wanted for the murder of his mother in their south Tulsa home has been arrested.

Dozens of officers, including Tulsa's SWAT team, surrounded the suspected hiding spot of 17-year-old Hank Laird just before 3 p.m. Wednesday in the 5700 block of South Boston Avenue.

Within minutes, police had Laird in custody.

Laird came out without incident, police said.

Investigators said they were tipped off to the south Tulsa home and had been surveying the surrounding area.

Another teen, 19-year-old Josiah Sklar, was arrested earlier in the day in connection with the homicide.

According to the police report, Sklar told investigators he was present when Hank Laird beat 56-year-old Linda Laird with a shotgun.

Sklar is in the Tulsa County Jail for first-degree murder.

On Tuesday morning police were called to a home near 74th and Yale. Upon arrival officers were informed Linda Laird was dead inside the residence.

According to the police report, she was lying at the base of a staircase and a large amount of blood had pooled around her head and body. 

The medical examiner's office has since determined Linda Laird died of blunt force trauma to the head and neck.

According to the police report, witnesses told responding officers Hank Laird and another man, later identified as Sklar, were present at the home when they discovered Linda Laird's body. They said he told them his mother fell down the staircase and was dead.

Hank Laird then left the home with Sklar.

A tip to investigators led them to a nearby Starbucks, where an employee said Hank Laird used the store's phone. The number was traced to Sklar.

During an interview, Sklar told police he was at the home when Hank Laird beat Linda Laird with the gun "20 or so times."

Sklar said Linda Laird was still showing signs of life but he was too afraid of Hank Laird to call for help, though he said Hank Laird "passed out" following the attack.

According to the report, Sklar provided a pillow to Linda Laird, who was lying on the floor at the base of the staircase. He then went to sleep in a back bedroom.

The next morning relatives arrived and Sklar and Hank Laird left the home.

On Wednesday the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office filed a charge of first-degree murder against Hank Laird. He is expected to be charged as an adult.

Neighbors say they've been keeping an eye on the house where police tracked down Laird.

"It didn't surprise me that much because there's always a lot of business going on in that house," said Gregg Hanner.
"This is a part of town that in the past has been a good part of town, but it seems like recently some issues have come up in closer neighborhoods," said Terry Bullard.

Neighbors hope this arrest will do some good.

"It's been a sore spot for most of the neighborhood for quite some time. So maybe this will clean it up," Hanner said.

Police haven't released a motive in the killing or why Laird hid in that house.

Sklar is scheduled for arraignment Jan. 30 while Laird is due in court Feb. 1.

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