- Associated Press - Monday, August 31, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Prosecutors filed a first-degree murder charge Monday against a man in the fatal stabbing of his father, Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello, during an attack at a fast-food restaurant.

Police have said Christian Costello, 26, pulled out a knife while he and his 59-year-old father talked Aug. 23 at a Braum’s restaurant and ice cream shop in Oklahoma City. Witnesses said the attack continued after Mark Costello ran into the parking lot where his wife, Cathy Costello, tried to intervene and stop the assault.

“Homicide detectives were summoned to the scene, and interviewed at least 17 witnesses, all of whom stated they observed the defendant stabbing the victim with a small knife,” police inspector Lyndell Easley wrote in an affidavit attached to the charge.

At least one witness knocked Christian Costello off balance with a vehicle, and others held him down until officers arrived, police have said.

The state medical examiner’s office ruled last week that Mark Costello died from stab wounds to the neck and classified his death as a homicide.



Christian Costello is being held without bond in the Oklahoma County jail, and court records do not indicate if he has been assigned an attorney.

Ed Blau, Christian Costello’s attorney of record on a pending misdemeanor charge of “outraging public decency,” said he expects a public defender will be assigned to represent Costello on the murder charge. That earlier charge came after, authorities say, Costello was found standing outside an Oklahoma City elementary school with his pajama pants down.

“I’ll withdraw from his misdemeanor case, because obviously the first-degree murder case will take precedence,” Blau said. “The misdemeanor case will be an afterthought.”

Court records show Christian Costello at one point spent 90 days in a mental health facility and took mood stabilizers. His family said in a statement that he suffers from a mental illness, although they did not specify which one.

A Bartlesville native and the founder of a telephone software company, Mark Costello was apparently considering running for lieutenant governor in 2018.

A funeral mass for Costello was held Saturday at the St. Monica Catholic Church in Edmond.

___

Sean Murphy can be reached at www.twitter.com/apseanmurphy

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