A suspect in a shoot-out with police was bound over for trial on a first-degree murder charge Tuesday in the shooting death of his girlfriend. The district attorney’s office is seeking the death penalty.

Kenneth Dean Gayler, 23, appeared in Pottawatomie County District Court for preliminary hearing Tuesday. Two witnesses testified, including a Seminole Police Officer who was shot in the face during the shoot-out.

Gayler’s reported girlfriend, Jenny Chaffin, 23, was shot and killed following the police chase that ended with the exchange of gunfire along SH 3E.

Officer Adam Good, 22, who lost his right eye to gunfire, took the witness stand. He was working patrol Jan. 6 when he got behind a Chevrolet Lumina at a stop light in Seminole and noticed the vehicle had no brake lights. The driver made an unsafe turn, he testified, so he initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle pulled over, but as he exited his patrol car, the driver accelerated and fled. A pursuit ensued with speeds approaching 100 mph; the driver failed to stop at the intersection of SH 9 and SH 3 in Seminole. Good said there were two occupants — a male driver and female passenger.

The pursuit continued on SH 3. Near SH 99 in Pottawatomie County, the driver of the Lumina reduced speed and tried to turn onto SH 99, but missed the turn and went down an embankment, he said. Good’s patrol car ended up being on the roadway parallel to the Lumina, located down a steep embankment.

When he exited his patrol car, Good said he saw both outside the car. He ordered the suspects to lay on the ground.

After a brief moment, “I was shot in the face,” he said.

“It happened in a matter of milliseconds, but it seemed like eternity,” he testified. “I felt the impact ... My right ear was ringing. I touched my eye and noticed blood.”


A suspect in a shoot-out with police was bound over for trial on a first-degree murder charge Tuesday in the shooting death of his girlfriend. The district attorney’s office is seeking the death penalty.
Kenneth Dean Gayler, 23, appeared in Pottawatomie County District Court for preliminary hearing Tuesday. Two witnesses testified, including a Seminole Police Officer who was shot in the face during the shoot-out.
Gayler’s reported girlfriend, Jenny Chaffin, 23, was shot and killed following the police chase that ended with the exchange of gunfire along SH 3E.
Officer Adam Good, 22, who lost his right eye to gunfire, took the witness stand. He was working patrol Jan. 6 when he got behind a Chevrolet Lumina at a stop light in Seminole and noticed the vehicle had no brake lights. The driver made an unsafe turn, he testified, so he initiated a traffic stop. The vehicle pulled over, but as he exited his patrol car, the driver accelerated and fled. A pursuit ensued with speeds approaching 100 mph; the driver failed to stop at the intersection of SH 9 and SH 3 in Seminole. Good said there were two occupants — a male driver and female passenger.
The pursuit continued on SH 3. Near SH 99 in Pottawatomie County, the driver of the Lumina reduced speed and tried to turn onto SH 99, but missed the turn and went down an embankment, he said. Good’s patrol car ended up being on the roadway parallel to the Lumina, located down a steep embankment.
When he exited his patrol car, Good said he saw both outside the car. He ordered the suspects to lay on the ground.
After a brief moment, “I was shot in the face,” he said.
“It happened in a matter of milliseconds, but it seemed like eternity,” he testified. “I felt the impact ... My right ear was ringing. I touched my eye and noticed blood.”
Good said he drew his service weapon. He notified dispatch he had been shot.
“I returned fire with my service weapon as I took cover behind the wheelbase of my vehicle,” he testified.
There was an exchange of gunfire. While Good took cover in a squatting position, a shot came under his car and hit him in the leg, he said.
“I notified dispatch I was shot again,” he said. He reloaded his weapon and stood up to see a male running back to the Lumina. Good said he began engaging the suspect with gunfire until he saw him fall between the Lumina and a wooded area.
Assisting officers arrived, including Pottawatomie County Sheriff’s Deputy Jimmy Brewer, and officers who took Gayler into custody. Deputy Brewer identified Gayler as the man arrested at the scene.
A lengthy cross-examination by Gayler’s defense attorneys began. Wayna Tyner asked Good several questions about his initial testimony, followed by meticulous questions about the details of what led to the traffic stop and about the pursuit itself. At the time of the incident, Good had been a full-time Seminole officer for about two months.
When asked about his injuries, Good said he was shot in the face and lower leg and “I lost my right eye.” After the incident, he was taken by Medi Flight to Oklahoma City, where he had surgery and was hospitalized about 24 hours. He was medically unable to work for about four or five months, but he is now working in the evidence room at the Seminole Police Department.
At the time of the shoot-out, Good said he didn’t know Chaffin was hit and killed. It was determined Chaffin died from one of Good’s bullets. The district attorney’s office ruled the officer was justified in using deadly force, testimony revealed.
Good was on the witness stand for most of the afternoon. Brewer testified briefly about responding to the scene.
“There was blood on the car and I saw him (Good) taking cover,” Brewer said. He then saw a woman lying face down and other officers apprehending Gayler. From there, he assisted Good.
“He told me he had been shot — it was obvious by the blood on his face,” Brewer said.
During the exchange, Gayler was shot on his right wrist, left hand and femur, and he also went by helicopter ambulance to Oklahoma City. Both Good and Gayler were hospitalized for their injuries; Chaffin was dead at the scene.
Gayler, wearing a gray jail jumpsuit, sat quietly at the defense table during the preliminary hearing.
At the end, his attorneys argued there was no evidence that Gayler killed anyone and Tyner said there was no evidence Gayler had a weapon and shot at the officer.
“Chaffin could have shot at him,” Tyner said.
District Attorney Richard Smothermon argued Gayler is responsible for first-degree murder because he was committing a felony by shooting with intent to kill the officer when Chaffin was killed.
Special District Judge David Cawthon said this case involves a felony murder not being done by the direct hands of the accused. He ruled there was sufficient evidence to bound Gayler over for trial on the first-degree murder charge, agreeing that the felony of shooting with intent to kill was still in progress when Chaffin was shot.
Gayler’s arraignment date, where he’ll enter a formal plea, was set for Aug. 27. He will remain jailed without bond, and and he is already a Department of Corrections inmate. Gayler is serving sentences totaling 31 years for Seminole County convictions on drug counts and feloniously pointing a weapon.
Court records show that on Dec. 12, 2007, about one month before this incident, Gayler walked away from work detail in Wewoka, the day before he was scheduled to be incarcerated with DOC.
If convicted of first-degree murder in Chaffin’s death, Gayler could face life in prison, with or without parole, or the death penalty.
Smothermon filed paperwork Tuesday asking that Gayler be punished by death. While Smothermon can seek the death penalty, it will be up to a jury to decide Gayler’s punishment if he is convicted.