Jury convicts Shawnee man in 2006 killing

Norman, Oklahoma (AP) 2-08

A Shawnee man showed no emotion mid Febuary as a Cleveland County jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the shooting death of an Anadarko resident during a tribal party to honor veterans.

The panel deliberated less than three hours before finding Aaron Rains Prado guilty of the June of 2006, shooting death of Andrew Supernaw, 27. The jury recommended life in prison with the possibility of parole for Prado, 23, who will have to serve 38 years and three months of his term before he can be considered for release.

Both men had attended a “49 party” in northwestern Norman, in which 49 tribal songs are played in honor of veterans, police said.

According to testimony, Prado and his friend, Brian Wilson Ponkilla, went to Prado’s vehicle and retrieved weapons after Prado’s brother, Ryan, and Ponkilla had a conversation with a group from Anadarko. Aaron Prado was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle and Ponkilla had a .40-caliber pistol, said Myron Tartsah, who was injured during the incident.

Supernaw was struck by at least two rounds. The fatal shot entered his left shoulder, traveled through his chest and lodged in his right arm, according to the medical examiner.

“My brother was down that way. I was by my vehicle. I saw a fight break out,” Aaron Prado said during testimony. The fight involved his brother and a friend, Dustin, and two people in the Anadarko group, he said.

Prado said he retrieved the AK-47 from his vehicle, where it had been placed after he’d gone deer hunting earlier in the day. He said he began running toward a sport utility vehicle after he lost sight of his brother.

Aaron Prado said he saw Supernaw standing over Ryan Prado with “something in his hand.”

“I figure (Ryan’s) hurt. I don’t see him moving,” he said.

Aaron Prado’s attorney, Gregg Webb, asked Prado what he was thinking when he decided to shoot Supernaw.

“I’m thinking about my brother at the time,” Prado said.

In closing arguments, assistant district attorney Rick Sitzman said Prado shot Supernaw “with predetermination and malice aforethought.”

Prado made the decision to “inject a high-power assault rifle into what was at most a shoving match,” Sitzman said.

Ponkilla was sentenced to four years in prison on assault and conspiracy charges for striking Tartsah in the head with the pistol.

Tartsah, his uncle and a cousin picked up Supernaw and placed him in the back seat of the SUV in an effort to reach a hospital, but their vehicle broke down. Ambulances transported Tartsah and Supernaw to Norman Regional Hospital, where Supernaw died about 13 hours later.

Prado surrendered to police a day after the shooting, but the guns never have been recovered, police said.