Kenneth Tyrone Brown

A former Muskogee man has been charged in the 1995 slaying of Donald Hawley following the reopening of Hawley's case in November of last year, said District 27 District Attorney Jack Thorp.

Kenneth Brown, 58, was charged Tuesday morning with first-degree murder for his alleged role in the death of Hawley, 62, of Porter.

Hawley was found on the banks of the Verdigris River between Wagoner and Muskogee, bound and beaten and bereft of his wallet, according to an earlier release from Thorp's office. Hawley's truck was found five miles away.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation began reexamining the case in November, according to the release. Thorp recently requested help from the public in solving the case. Now the investigation team has a key piece of evidence which establishes Brown as the killer, Thorp said.

"[OSBI] has the labs, so you can find evidence from the past — now with more and more scientific advances, they can really bring this scientific evidence to light," Thorp said. "There’s a very specific piece of evidence in this case that was located and submitted and tested and provided a lot of forensic evidence."

The investigation will remain ongoing, Thorp said, as the team searches for a potential second attacker.

"There’s a strong possibility that there was two people that committed this crime," Thorp said. "This investigation is going to continue trying to identify who that second attacker might be."

Brown is serving a life sentence in prison for the May 1995 murder of Elizabeth Alloway. He remains in custody at the James Crabtree Correctional Center in Helen.

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