Petty, 34, was found by a passerby off the road near the intersection of South County Road 203 and East County Road 166, the victim of multiple gunshot wounds. Jackson County Sheriff Morris Roberts said Petty had been dead two to three hours when he was found at 8:24 a.m. Friday. Petty had lived at several residences in Altus.
Richard Goss, the supervisor of the southwest region of the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, said that Petty's friends are being interviewed to determine when and with whom he was last seen alive.
Goss said it was his understanding that there had been no reports of any shots fired in the area.
A warrant had been issued June 7 for Petty's arrest on a charge of aggravated domestic assault and battery against his then-wife Jamie Michelle Petty that occurred June 4.
According to an affidavit filed in District Court, officers responded to a call at 305 Mercury and found that Jamie Petty had been beaten and that there were "multiple large bruises on her face and arms.
The victim appeared incoherent, her motor skills were slow and she was visibly in pain when she moved."
She said at the time that her husband had beaten her. Photos taken at Jackson County Memorial Hospital showed "great bodily injury to all areas of her body."
On June 7 officers went to 1800 N. Main, Apt. 2, where Petty was residing. Petty exited a window at the rear of the apartment and fled the area. He was arrested June 22 and jailed until Aug. 25, when he was released on a recognizance bond.
Jamie Petty secured a protective order against James Petty on June 15, and the couple, who had been married since Feb. 19, 2002, was divorced on Aug. 9. Petty appeared in court on the assault and battery charge on Nov. 1, and the case was set for review Feb. 7.
Petty had been cited by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol previously this year, on April 17, for transporting an open container of beer and operating a motor vehicle without a driver's license.
Anyone with any information about this or any other crime is asked to call the Jackson County Sheriff's Department at 482-0408 or the OSBI's Lawton office at 580-248-4050. After normal business hours citizens can call the OSBI headquarters at 800-522-8017.