Lois J. Stoffle: Disappointed with handling


To the editor:

As a subscriber to the newspaper, I am truly disappointed in the handling of the reporting of the accident involving Carla Steele and Joshua Ward. I was not acquainted with either person, but I think the articles printed were judgmental. The word “suspected” is used in a condemning fashion in your reporting of the incident. I thought everyone was considered innocent until proven guilty. “Suspected” does not mean “guilty of” until it is a proven fact.

The article about Steele spoke of her value as a person to the community and to her family, a truly genuine lady. I’m sure that the article will be of some comfort to them.

But, I am sure that the young man had a family, also. He was someone’s son, grandson, perhaps uncle, etc., and they should be shown sympathy and understanding also. Not just a line that said that he passed away.

Thank you for allowing me my say.

Lois J. Stoffle

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Ray Cartwright 5 years, 7 months ago

Exellent letter Lois, I am sure as you stated that the young man has family that is mourning the loss at this time. My condolences go out to both sides of this tragedy.


JWilson4970 5 years, 7 months ago

ranger520 - you don't get it..nobody is suggesting that Josh deserves your sympathy. What Lois is saying, and I will repeat, is that he had a family...he had a mother, he had a father, he was a grandson, and he was an uncle. Josh's friends and family are also in mourning. They also deserve our respect and understanding...our sympathy. He did not "hunt anyone down". Instead, he likely used poor judgement and had an accident. He paid the ultimate price for his actions...and unfortunately so did Carla.

My sympathies go to family and friends of both Carla and Josh.


Andrew Russo 5 years, 7 months ago

"You are wrong. I understand the issue completely."

Then you understand that it isn't the one who committed the crime that sympathy is being asked for but his family...It's good that you understand that.


JWilson4970 5 years, 7 months ago

ranger520 - I do not think you are following my point. The difference between us is one of compassion and sympathy to the families involved. With every story related to this tragic event, you have made it a point to state that Josh does not deserve and will not get your respect or sympathy. That makes no sense to me because he is gone and neither he, or anyone else, is asking you for it. Perhaps your comments and lack of compassion to the families is reflective of the slanted way in which the articles were written. However, both Josh and Carla did have familes and I am simply suggesting that you broaden your thinking and show compassion to all. Out of respect to the families, I do not care to debate this with you or anyone else, and will therefore withhold any additional comments.

My sympathies go to the friends and families of Carla and Josh.


David Moore 5 years, 7 months ago

I agree with dentedfender, excellent letter Mrs. Stoffle. To everyone else, you"ll have to overlook Mr. Perfect as he has issues with the sky being blue, the water being clear and people breathing oxygen. We get it Ranger, no sympathy from you, duly noted and in the real world does not matter one bit, why don't you move along and research the next person or thing you are going to complain about or stomp all over. My condolences to BOTH families, they all lost and things will never be the same on either side.


PJ Howe 5 years, 7 months ago

A comment not particular to this case and not necessarily directed to Ms.Stoffle, but which may fit: The rule of "innocent until proven guilty" is for the government to prove or disprove in a court of law. The public, including newspapers depending on how the editors wish to portray their paper, can presume anyone guilty or not. The man (or woman) who raped you could very well get off in a court of law due to some technicality or a poor prosecutor (think Anthony), but that person is none the less still guilty, especially in your eyes. Just be sure to remember that when you read articles in the paper or listen to the news. Reporting establishments will generally prescribe to the 'rule' as part of their reporting integrity or policies. I for one, wish papers and news shows would start taking more of stance against the "suspected" line and tell us what the think. To this day they still report the Ft. Hood murderer, Nidal Hasan, as "suspected" of murder when there is no presumption of innocence in this case, except for where the government is concerned.


Tammy Showalter 5 years, 7 months ago

I want to say excellent letter Mrs. Stoffle. My thoughts are with all those grieving this tragedy.

ranger520 can say whatever on here, I just feel sad for him or her to feel so opinionated and judgmental when no one "knows" what the circumstances were.
No reason to respond to me, please, I have nothing else to say on that note.


kblhokla 5 years, 7 months ago

I am a family member of Joshua Ward. Speaking on behalf of our entire Oklahoma family words cannot express how devastated we are for this horrible, unnecessary tragedy.

All of us understand the amount of anger and hate people feel towards Josh. The choice(s) he made Friday evening are inexcusable. An innocent woman's life was taken due to the reckless behavior of our family member - it sickens each of us and it will never be forgotten.

So, Ranger520 if your purpose is to educate us on how horrible, unjust, and unfair the actions of Josh were - thank you, but we all get it. We are shamed at the very thought. As for Josh, he's dead. Your words don't hurt him. Please take this into consideration.


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