Former Custer County Deputy Charged with First-Degree Manslaughter

September 15, 2020

By News Director Jared Atha

A former Custer County Deputy who’s now an officer in the Oklahoma City Metro area has been charged with first-degree manslaughter after fatally shooting a man wielding a baseball bat back in July.

According to court records, Chance Avery, a corporal with The Village Police Department, shot 49-year-old Christopher Poor three times on July 25.

Police say Avery was at the home at the request of Poor’s wife, who was picking up some personal belongings, when Poor ran from the garage into the living room clutching the bat.

A probable cause affidavit stated that “While verbally engaged with Mr. Poor, Avery discharged his firearm, striking Mr. Poor three times, causing his death,” the report went on to say “This level of force utilized by Chance Avery exceeded the level of force appropriate for the victim’s actions during this encounter.”

Defense attorney Gary James told The Oklahoman that Avery had a right to use deadly force because Poor ignored multiple commands to drop the bat and continued to approach the officer.

The attorney said he was arranging for Avery’s surrender to authorities.

Deputy Chief Russ Landon said Avery remains on paid administrative leave.

In April 2014, Avery and another Custer County sheriff’s deputy were cleared by the district attorney in the fatal shooting of then 18-year-old Mah-hi-vist Goodblanket in Clinton.