The Cleveland County Courthouse was on lockdown during the early morning hours of Feb. 8, and News 9 has learned at least two judges had officers stationed at their home while authorities searched for Timothy Michael Deffner, who was suspected of shooting and killing his estranged wife as well as her divorce attorney the night before.
"It was very frightening," said Jeff Virgin, the Cleveland County Judge who presided over the divorce case between Deffner and his wife Cayann.
So, when she and her divorce attorney were found shot to death the same night, police sent officers to protect the judge and his family at his home.
"So the officers showed up at our door, rang the bell at 2:45 [a.m.]," said Virgin. "You can imagine how frightening that is."
Police also showed up at the home of attorney Bryan Young after getting a chilling 911 call.
"My husband has just been shot," said Young's wife to the 911 dispatcher.
Young's wife told the dispatcher it was a break-in, and that she did not know who shot him. Though Young was breathing at the time of the call, he later died at the hospital.
Virgin says while a lot of divorce cases are very emotionally charged, only a few result in devastating violence. And while he does remember handling the Deffner's long, drawn out divorce case, he never imagined it would end up like this.
Court records show Deffner had just been criminally charged and discovered there was a warrant out for his arrest the day of the shooting rampage. The judge on that case was also offered police protection. Now, both judges, and the friends and families of the victims, are mourning this tragic loss of two innocent lives, and one very troubled man.
"You have to talk to your families about the situations and explain the dangers and potential threats," said Virgin.
A memorial fund has been established for Bryan Young at the Republic State Bank in Norman. A candlelight service has been scheduled at Arbor Lakes Park Thursday at 6:30 p.m. near Young's home.