JAY, Okla. — A Delaware county man that confessed to a family friend and authorities to fatally shooting his wife four times in the chest was held over for trial on Monday.
John Hackathorn, 53, of Zena is charged with murder in the first degree – deliberate intent in the November 2020 death of his wife, Mary Ann Hackathorn, 60.
An autopsy report shows Mary Hackathorn died of multiple gunshot wounds to the chest and stomach and listed the manner of death as homicide.
Wearing orange jail clothes and handcuffed, Hackathorn appeared in Delaware County District Court in Jay for a preliminary hearing. After an hour of testimony from a family friend and former interim Delaware County Sheriff Mike Wilkerson, Associate Judge David Crutchfield held Hackathorn over for trial and set district court arraignment for Nov. 30.
District Attorney Kenny Wright questioned Grove veterinarian, Dr Kathryn Dunaway – Knight, about her telephone call with Hackathorn the day Mary Hackathorn died.
“He said, ‘something bad has happened,’” Knight said. “He said ‘I killed Mary.’”
A visibly passionate Knight testified with a controlled voice that Hackathorn said he shot his wife of 15 years four times in the chest, and she was sitting in a chair.
“I killed her, I want you to come get the dogs, I am going to kill myself, I left the gate open,” Knight testified as to her conversation with Hackathorn.
Knight said the two women “had been friends since birth.” She also testified she had known John Hackathorn for 15 years.
During cross examination by Allen Smallwood, Hackathorn’s attorney, Knight said the victim had expressed fears for her safety to her as early as April 2018.
“John had threatened to kill her (Mary) with a golf club,” Knight said. “She (Mary) sounded like she was in sheer terror.”
Online court records show Mary Hackathorn had filed for a divorce in April 2018 and no divorce was ever granted.
Knight testified she never discussed the golf incident with John Hackathorn.
The conversation with Hackathorn is “pretty much etched in my brain,” Knight said and she “described Hackathorn’s voice was “a bit excited, he enunciated his words clearly, he sounded like he was in a hurry and wanted to communicate what he wanted to say succinctly.”
Former interim sheriff Mike Wilkerson testified when law enforcement arrived at the Hackathorn’s home at their 2,000-acre ranch he yelled at Hackathorn to stop when he saw him with a pistol in his hand.
“He raised his right hand and then then put it down and then went into the house and came back out with his both hands up,” Wilkerson testified.
“He (Hackathorn) said I killed her – she’s in there,” Wilkerson said. “I tried to kill myself but missed.”
Wilkerson said the victim was in a chair and appeared to be deceased.
“She had several wounds in the chest,” Wilkerson said.
During cross examination by Smallwood, Wilkerson said Hackathorn called dispatch saying he killed his wife and was going to kill himself.
Wilkerson described Hackathorn as very calm and matter-of-factly.
There was no sign Hackathorn was under the influence of anything, he said.