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.
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.
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Produced by David Kohn;