The homeowner who allegedly shot and killed a man who knocked on his door and came inside his home during an altercation last month now faces felony drug charges for items found at his home while deputies investigated the shooting. The district attorney hasn’t yet determined whether the shooting was justified as part of Oklahoma’s “Make My Day” law.
Thomas Marion Lillard III, 30, is charged in Pottawatomie County District Court with unlawful possession of a controlled drug within intent to distribute, acquiring proceeds from drug activity, possession of controlled dangerous substance, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony and a misdemeanor of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.
An arrest affidavit shows a drug task force investigator responded to Lillard’s rural home at 36706 Old Highway 270 about 11:40 p.m. on March 4 following the shooting incident.
Isaiah Reuben Poncho, 32, died at the scene after suffering a single gunshot wound to the chest. The affidavit shows Poncho had been shot and killed by Lillard after an altercation had occurred.
In previous reports, Sheriff Mike Booth said Poncho reportedly went to Lillard’s residence and knocked on the front door. When Lillard answered, Poncho reportedly stepped inside the home and there was a slight altercation between the two men, who reportedly knew each other, the sheriff said.
“The homeowner had a pistol with him,” Booth said, “and shot Mr. Poncho one time in the chest.”
As deputies worked the scene to investigate the shooting death, the probe took another turn. The drug task force agent was alerted there was an odor of marijuana at the home; the affidavit shows Lillard was cooperative with deputies and advised that he had about a pound of marijuana in the house and some currency, court document shows.
A search warrant was granted by a judge and authorities began searching the home about 2:58 a.m. Authorities seized money and various package and gram amounts of marijuana, including a brick weighing 460 grams and another brick weighing 462 grams, court documents show. In total, reports indicate nearly three pounds of pot were found, along with $6,766 in cash.
Sheriff’s reports have indicated that Poncho allegedly went to Lillard’s residence to obtain a gun when the altercation between the two men occurred, said Capt. Travis Palmer. That night, a woman who was traveling in a car with Poncho also made allegations about being kidnapped, so that information became part of the shooting investigation. Her statements on the shooting also matched a guest who was at Lillard’s home, Palmer said.
Deputies investigated the shooting as a homicide and turned their case over to prosecutors, but Booth said whether or not the shooting was justified was the question.
That decision is up to District Attorney Richard Smothermon, who will determine if the shooting incident falls under Oklahoma’s “Make My Day” law, which gives citizens the right to use deadly force to protect themselves while inside their own homes.
Because of the items found at Lillard’s home that night, Smothermon’s office filed the drug charges Thursday, but his decision is pending on the shooting incident.
“A decision is forthcoming whether or not the shooting was justified,” Smothermon said Friday. “We’re waiting until we have the opportunity to meet with the victim’s family.”
Lillard was not arrested the night of the shooting and his name was not initially released. Smothermon said Friday they anticipate him surrendering himself to authorities to face the drug charges.
Watch for further updates.