Ada murder suspect nabbed in Hughes County - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Ada murder suspect nabbed in Hughes County

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Jerry Gardner was arrested on a first degree murder charge in connection with the shooting death of an Ada man. (Pontotoc County Sheriff) Jerry Gardner was arrested on a first degree murder charge in connection with the shooting death of an Ada man. (Pontotoc County Sheriff)
Tyler Melton with his two daughters. (Facebook) Tyler Melton with his two daughters. (Facebook)
Tyler Melton's family has more questions than answers about his violent death in Ada. (KTEN) Tyler Melton's family has more questions than answers about his violent death in Ada. (KTEN)

PONTOTOC COUNTY, Okla. -- A suspect in the shooting death of an Ada man was arrested late Saturday night in Hughes County, Oklahoma.

Holdenville police said they received information that Jerry Gardner was at a residence on Billington Street. After obtaining a warrant, U.S. Marshals along with local, state and tribal law enforcement officers apprehended him without incident, 26 miles form the crime scene.

Gardner, 34, was later moved to the jail in neighboring Pontotoc County.

The Modesto, California, resident is being held on a first degree murder charge in connection with the death of 23-year-old Tyler Gene Melton of Ada. Melton's body was found in a driveway in the 500 block of North Hope Avenue on Thursday night. He had been visiting his daughters, who live with their mother, Haley Mathes.

Tyler, who would have been 24 on Sunday, was just leaving the house when he was gunned down.

"I heard gunshots, but I didn't think it was him," Mathes said. "I didn't put two and two together."

"I have no clue how anything could happen like this to anybody, much less your son... you know?" said Gary Melton, Tyler's father.

The victim's family said Tyler Melton and Jerry Gardner were not strangers to one another.

"I know he had dealt with him before, but I don't know anything else other than that he had messed with him before," Mathes said.

There's some relief for the family knowing that a suspect is in custody, but the pain lingers.

"It makes me feel better to know that he's not able to do it to anybody else," Mathes said. 

"I still have a lot of rage inside ...  it's going to take time," said the victim's father.

"Please keep his girls in your prayers," Mathes said. "It's hard enough to think that one day I'm going to have to explain it to them."

The family has established a Facebook page to raise funds for Tyler Melton's funeral expenses and his two daughters.

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