2 Families Claim Marlow Police Had Part in Sons' Deaths

Wednesday, November 4th 2009, 12:17 am
By: News 9

By Rusty Surette, NEWS 9

MARLOW, Oklahoma -- Grieving families have joined forces to stop what they call a deadly and dangerous police department. Two families have come forward stating they believe the Marlow police force played a role in their sons' deaths.

It's no secret the Marlow Police Department has had problems. For months the headlines have highlighted some of the issues, but for years one family has documented what they call the dirty work of the force, and they've kept quiet, until now.

Beth Ennis lost her son, Mark, in August 2005. He was riding his motorcycle late one night and crashed.

Two Marlow officers said they were behind the 25-year-old at the time of the accident, but Ennis said she has reason to believe the officers hit him with their cars.

"They said he ran into the T-post, the metal T-post, but there were no markings on it," Ennis said.

Photos of Mark's bike show white markings, but the post he supposedly hit is rusted with no white paint.

Beth and her attorney asked for copies of the radio transmissions from the night her son died, but she said the tapes given to them by Marlow police had been edited.

"At one point, I could actually hear my son yelling, and then it was cut off," Ennis said.

It's hard to say what happened that night because Officer Toby Garver said the dashboard camera in his car was turned off. Officer Tony Lynch's camera was broken.

"Do you believe Marlow police officers murdered your son?" asked NEWS 9's Rusty Surette.

"Yes," Ennis said.

"Without a doubt?" Surette asked.

"Yes," Ennis said.

Ennis said when she got her son's wallet back from police his ID was missing. Mysteriously, a few months after the accident Ennis said credit card offers started showing up in her son's mailbox and the name on them was Officer Tony Lynch.

Officer Lynch, who is the president of Marlow's police union, won't talk about this or another case he's involved in.

In 2006, he arrested Gary Edwards for public intoxication and booked the 25-year-old into the city jail. Hours later, Edwards was dead.

Autopsy reports showed he hung himself, but his family in Arkansas thinks there's more to the story.

"This can't go on. This has to stop," Ennis said.

Both families have sued the city of Marlow, and both cases have been settled, but they can't disclose the outcome. Still, neither family is giving up the fight, a fight they said is one to save others.

Ennis recently asked for the Department of Justice to investigate her son's death. The Edwards recently hired an independent forensics team to take a look at their son's death and a report released this week showed there were flaws in the suicide investigation. That report has already been turned over to the OSBI and the District Attorney's office.

The FBI and OSBI are actively investigating other criminal accusations against several members of the Marlow police force.

More on News9.com:
- 3 Marlow Police Officers Placed on Leave
- Authorities Investigate Corruption Within Marlow Police Force