- Associated Press - Friday, August 28, 2015

BUNCH, Okla. (AP) - An Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation game warden won’t face criminal charges after prosecutors determined that he was justified in the April fatal shooting of an Arkansas man.

Authorities said 29-year-old Billy Joe Patrick had attacked game warden Jared Cramer after Cramer approached Patrick and two others while they were fishing, the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/1i7aJWL ) reported.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said Cramer asked to see the group’s fishing licenses and learned that Patrick had a warrant from Arkansas for violating the terms of his parole. Patrick began to fight Cramer when Cramer tried to arrest him, and the two fell into a pond.

Cramer said Patrick tried to hold his head underwater, and that he was able to fight his way above water and shoot Patrick, who died at the scene.

The Adair County District Attorney’s Office said it was “reasonable” for Cramer to believe the use of deadly force to protect himself was necessary. A medical examiner’s report released Thursday on Patrick’s death indicated that he was under the influence of methamphetamine at the time.

A Wildlife Department official said Cramer, a nearly eight-year veteran of the agency, was placed on administrative leave during the investigation but has since returned to work.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com

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