The Shame Of Rush Springs

CBS News 48 Hours examines the case of two Oklahoma boys who shot and killed their brutally abusive father. Everyone in Rush Springs knew what was going on at the Dutton place. But no one stopped it. So the two boys took matters into their own hands. Is what they did murder or self-defense? 48 Hours delves into this moral quandary, and examines how a small town could allow the situation to get this far.

The Shame Of Rush Springs

Among the people you'll meet in this riveting hour:

  • Herman and Druie Dutton, who on the afternoon of July 12, 1993, killed their father Lonnie with a deer rifle while he slept in their trailer. Herman was 15 at the time, Druie was 12. They were charged with first-degree murder. But the case wasnÂ't so clear-cut. Many people knew that Lonnie terrorized his family, including. . .


  • Linda Munn and Luther Dutton. Munn, Lonnie DuttonÂ's sister, says her brother was a Â"monster.Â" She defended the two boys and said they shouldnÂ't go to jail. Luther Dutton, LonnieÂ's father, lived not far from his son, and often heard the children pleading with their father to stop hurting them. Once, he remembered, he tried to make Lonnie stop; his son attacked him with a knife.


  • Jim Percival and Robert Pareen, the two public defenders assigned the Dutton boysÂ' case. They argued that the Dutton boys are victims of Â"battered child syndrome,Â" which drives children to kill their abusers.


  • Marie Dutton, LonnieÂ's ex-wife, as well as the Herman and DruieÂ's mother, who lost custody of her kids after Lonnie convinced authorities that she had sexually abused her daughter Sissy. She proclaimed her innocence, and wants to regain custody of all four of her children.


  • Fred Pitzgerald and Karen Kaveny, two townspeople who tried unsuccessfully to help Herman and Druie escape from their fatherÂ's brutality. Pitzgerald, a math teacher, and Kaveny, DuttonÂ's neighbor, both feel a sense of guilt, even though they tried to help.


  • Find out more about child abuse.
    Since the show was first broadcast in 1993, much has changed. Herman and Druie agreed to a plea bargain that kept them out of prison, and eventually all charges were dropped. Both boys now live in Rush Springs with their grandparents. Herman has enrolled in college and wants to become a minister. Druie will soon start his senior year in high school, and is interested in auto mechanics. Marie Dutton lost her parental rights. She has remarried, and sees her children occasionally.

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