McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

April 12, 2006

Local doctor killed

By Doug Russell

A retired doctor who was active in the legal aspects of capital punishment has died.

Dr. Karl F. Sauer, 74, was pronounced dead at the scene of a single-vehicle accident on U.S. Highway 69 two miles south of Oktaha.

His body was taken to the medical examiner’s office in Tulsa at the request of the medical examiner.

Sauer was driving north on the highway when his Chevrolet Celebrity went off the roadway and into the center median, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. The car went airborne and flipped before coming to rest in a creek.

Sauer was wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident, the patrol said.

Trooper Daniel Eaton investigated.

A 1962 graduate of the University of Arkansas College of Medicine in Little Rock, Ark., Sauer was an orthopedic surgeon who worked for many years at McAlester Regional Health Center and was also the chief medical officer for Oklahoma State Penitentiary for a time. He supported and encouraged young people in boxing and other sports and was a longtime member of the Oklahoma Boxing Commission.

Sauer became active in the legal aspects of capital punishment after the death of his son, Michael Sauer, who was murdered on Nov. 4, 1995.

Before he died, Michael was able to telephone police and give the name and description of the man who shot him. McAlester police arrested the killer after a chase. The man is now on death row.

Karl Sauer gave victim’s impact testimony at the killer’s trial and often worked as a death penalty proponent since the murder. Most recently, he testified in a case in which a death row inmate claimed lethal injection was a cruel and unusual punishment.