'Cathouse' Murder and Trial Home Page

Denny Phillips, David 'Hooligan' Tyner, Russell Lee Hogshooter, Jonathan Allen Cochran, Brooke Phillps, Jennifer Ermey, Milagros Barrera & Casey Barrientos.

This page was last updated 5/31/2016

Summary: Around 5:30 a.m. on Nov. 9, 2009 firefighters responded to a house fire in SW Oklahoma City. Shortly after they arrived and extinguished the flames, the bodies of three women and one man were found inside the charred remains of the home. All four victims had been murdered by either gunshots, stab wounds or a combination of the two. Two of the female victims were later revealed to have been pregnant - bringing the victim count to six. It was also learned that one of the victims was often featured in the HBO reality series 'Cathouse,' which followed the lives of prostitutes working out of a legal brothel in Nevada. Prosecutors allege the murders were a hit by members of the Indian Brotherhood gang, targeting Casey Barrientos - the three female victims and two unborn babies were simplyi n the wrong place at the wrong time.

To date, two of those who participated in the murders have pleaded guilty. David Tyner was giving multiple life sentences. Jonathan Cochran was only given 25-years in prison.

On May 16, 2016 the last two criminal defendants Denny Phillips and Russell Hogshooter began their criminal trial. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Denny Phiilips (left) & Russell Hogshooter (right) are currently on trial in Oklahoma County for the murder of Brooke Phillips (center) and five others.

Status: 6/17/2016 - After deliberating for only three-hours the jury came back with a guilty verdict for both defendants on all charges. The jury then recommended life without parole for both defendants. Formal sentencing is set for August 11, 2016. 
Article: 5/16/2016 - 'Cathouse' Murder Trial Begins this Week in Oklahoma County.
Article: 6/8/2016 - Oklahoma County jurors will hear closing arguments Monday in "Cathouse" murder trial.


  • Denny Phillips: 'War Chief' within the Indian Brotherhood criminal gang. Phillips is reported to have direct ties to organized drug trafficking and prostitution. Phillips, who operated in the Tulsa area, is said to be the mastermind of the murders.
    Phillips is currently on trial (with Jonathan Cochran) in Oklahoma County charged with six counts of murder in the first degree and one count of conspiracy. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
  • Casey Barrientos: A OKC drug trafficker who often sold marijuana and narcotics to Denny Phillips so Phillips could in turn sell them at a profit. Phillips become upset with Barrientos and plotted to have him robbed and killed.
    Barrientos was murdered on Nov. 9, 2009.
  • David 'Hooligan' Tyner: MMA fighter and Indian Brotherhood wannabe. Associate of Denny Phillips and one time bodyguard of Barrientos. Tyner was instrumental in the robbery and murders. Tyner admitted to shooting Barrientos, Ermey and Barrera with a pistol. 
    In May of 2012, Tyner pleaded guilty and was given multiple life sentences.
  • Russell Lee Hogshooter: Indian Brotherhood member and associate of Denny Phillips. Hogshooter participated in the robbery and murders. 
    In Feb. of 2015, Hogshooter pleaded guilty to six counts of murder in the first degree & one count of conspiracy. As part of his plea deal with Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater, he was only sentenced to 25-years in prison.
  • Jonathan Cochran: Indian Brotherhood member and associate of Denny Phillips. Cochran participated in the robbery and murders.
    Cochran is currently on trial (with Denny Phillips) in Oklahoma County charged with six counts of murder in the first degree and one count of conspiracy. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
  • Brooke Phillips: No relation to Denny Phillips. Reportedly born in Oklahoma to a stripper, drug-addict mother who gave her up for adoption at 14. Brooke had her first child when she was only 16. Brooke began stripping at 18. Brooke met Jose Fierro while stripping. Brooke's relationship with Fierro got her drugs and introductions to Barrientos and Shelly Duschel - who worked as a legal prostitute at the Nevada Moonlite Bunny Ranch. After gaining employment at the Bunny Ranch, Brooke Phillips was frequently featured on the HBO series 'Cathouse.' A reality series that followed the lives of prostitutes working at the Moonlite Bunny Ranch. Brooke was pregnant at the time of her murder and was taking time off from working at the Bunny Ranch because of her pregnancy. Brooke's association with the 'Cathouse' series is where the 'Cathouse Murder' headline originated. Brooke Phillips and her unborn child were brutally murdered on Nov. 9, 2009. Most likely by Hogshooter or Cochran.
  • Jennifer Ermey: An friend of Barrientos' returned to Barrientos' home on the morning of the murders with Barrientos and Barrera.
    Ermey was murdered on Nov. 9, 2009 - most likely by Tyner.
  • Milagros 'Millie' Barrera: An friend of Barrientos'. Barrera, also pregnant, and returned to Barrientos' home on the morning of the murders with Barrientos and Ermey.
    Ermey and her unborn child were both murdered on Nov. 9, 2009 - most likely by Tyner.
  • Jose Fernando Fierro: Oklahoma City drug dealer and renter of the home where the murders occurred. Fierro introduced Brooke to both Barrientos and to connections with the Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada.

Details: Oklahoma County prosecutors alleged that In 2009, Denny Phillips, 38, of Salina, was a "war chief" within the Indian Brotherhood Gang. Phillips' gang was actively involved in drug dealing and prostitution throughout Oklahoma.

While serving a short prison sentence, Phillips met and befriended a man named Casey Mark Barrientos, 32, of Oklahoma City.

When the two were released from prison, Barrientos began supplying Phillips with marijuana and narcotics that Phillips' gang then resold for a profit in the Tulsa area where Phillips was living at the time.

During this time, Barrientos began receiving death threats from a rival gang and Phillips provided Barrientos with a fulltime bodyguard - David 'Hooligan' Tyner, 34.

Tyner, a former Mixed Martial Arts fighter from Locust Grove, originally had only known Phillips a short time and only met him while the two trained to fight in MMA events. Tyner expressed an interest in becoming a member of the Indian Brotherhood gang.

It is alleged that at some point Phillips became angry with Barrientos and felt he was being denied some of the criminal proceeds he was due.

According to Phillips' former girlfriend, Karinne Saunders, in June of 2009 Phillips began to conspire with Tyner to rob and kill Barrientos during a time when a large amount of drugs and money would be in Barrientos' possession. Saunders claims she was with Phillips on numerous occasions when he would discuss his plans with Tyner. Saunders told investigators that Barrientos was making a lot of money and that he often had large amounts of cash in his home. 

On November 9, 2009 Phillips ordered Tyner, Russell Lee Hogshooter, 38, and Jonathan Allen Cochran, 36, to rob and murder Barrientos, while he stayed at an southwest Oklahoma City home known to be a drug house. Phillips also instructed his fellow gang members to kill any witnesses and to destroy the evidence. In return, Tyner would be made a full 'prospect' within the Indian Brotherhood gang and was even allowed to get a 'prospect' tattoo just prior to the robbery and murders. Hogshooter and Cochran were already members of the Indian Brotherhood.

(Not Directly Related to the 'Cathouse Murder' Trial) CNN's Amber Lyon looks at why some of the women of HBO's "Cathouse" are haunted by the past.

In the early morning hours, Tyner, Hogshooter and Cochran drove from Tulsa to the drug house in OKC in Phillips' wife's white Pontiac Grand Am. Before arriving at the rented drug house, at 1511 SW 56, Tyner dropped off Hogshooter and Cochran close-by. The two were to make their way to the house through neighboring yards. Saunders was originally to be Tyner's driver, in exchange for $10,000, but she was arrested on an unrelated charge just prior to the robbery and murders and was incarcerated on that day. All three men were armed - Tyner with a .40 caliber Highpoint and Hogshooter and Cochran with .380 caliber pistols.

Tyner knocked at the door and was met by the home's owner - Jose Fernando Fierro. Tyner asked to speak to Barrientos but was told by Fierro he wasn't there. Tyner then asked to come inside and wait. 

Fierro told investigators that he let Tyner in and then went to another room inside the house. Also inside the house at that time was one of Barrientos' girlfriends, Brooke Phillips, 22, of Moore. While inside, Tyner called Phillips on his cell phone to update him. Tyner claims that Phillips told him to continue to wait for Barrientos and that Hogshooter and Cochran would be entering the home through a backdoor.

A short time later, Barrientos returned to the house and was accompanied by two women - Jennifer Ermey, 25, of Edmond and Milagros 'Millie' Barrera, 22, of Mustang.

Fierro remained in a back room while Tyner, Barrientos, Phillips, Ermey and Barrera were all in the livingroom. Tyner says he called Phillips again and let him know Barrientos had arrived. Tyner then excused himself to go to the bathroom.

While in the bathroom, Hogshooter and Cochran entered the house and began shooting at the occupants. 

Murder victims: (top: left to right) Brooke Phillips (pregnant), Jennifer Ermey, Casey Barrientos & Milagros Barrera (pregnant).

Tyner walked out of the bathroom and was confronted by Barrientos, who was armed with a knife. Tyner shot and killed Barrientos. Tyner told investigators he then shot Ermey and Barrera. 

Tyner saw Hogshooter and Cochran inside the home and all three began looking for cash and drugs.

A short time later, Tyner said he heard Hogshooter and Cochran firing their pistols as Fierro was fleeing the house through a door that led to the garage.

Fierro later told investigators that he heard the disturbance and shots fired while he was in another part of the house. Fierro confirmed that for a short time he was chased on foot by Tyner outside the house. Fierro said he eventually hid underneath a tree and waited for about 45-minutes. Fierro told investigators that while waiting he smelled smoke coming from the direction of his home. Fierro then ran to a relative's home, several blocks away, and did not call police.

Tyner returned to the home and found Hogshooter and Cochran holding bloody knives. Tyner said he also saw Brooke Phillips laying on the floor, mortally wounded with several gunshot and stab wounds.

It was later revealed that Brooke Phillips, who was noticeably pregnant, had begged for her life and that one of the defendants placed a gun to her face and shot her through her eye socket before shooting her five more times. Brooke Phillips was then burned so badly she had to be identified through dental records and the remains of distinct tattoos.

Hogshooter then poured gasoline throughout the house and set it on fire in an attempt to destroy any evidence.

Tyner, Hogshooter and Cochran then fled the scene in the Grand Am. The three drove to a location past Shawnee, where Cochran and Hogshooter buried the pistols and their clothing used in the murders. The trio then drove to Phillips' house in Pryor. From there all three spilt up and went their separate ways.

© Newsok by Paul B. Southerland.

© Newsok by Paul B. Southerland.

Firefighters extinguishing the blaze soon discovered the bodies of the four victims. Further investigation revealed they had all been murdered by a combination of gunshots and stab wounds. It was also confirmed that Brooke Phillips was indeed pregnant, as was Barrera - bringing the total number of murder victims to six.

When word of the murders was made public, there were several noted prison riots between Mexican and Indian inmates.

Soon after the victim's were identified, it was learned that Brooke Phillips was a prostitute that was often featured on HBO's series 'Cathouse.' The reality series followed the lives of prostitutes who worked in the now infamous legal brothel Moonlite Bunny Ranch in Nevada. Brooke Phillips had reportedly decided to take some time off from the brothel, due to her pregnancy. As a result, the entire case quickly became referred to as the 'Cathouse Murders' by the local, national and international media.

Brooke Phillips was often a featured legal prostitute in the HBO reality series 'Cathouse.'

Fierro made contact with police within days of the murders.

After Tyner learned that Fierro was cooperating with police, he turned himself in.

By the time Denny Phillips was charged in relation to these murders (Aug. 2012), he was already serving a seven-year federal prison sentence for an unrelated shootout with police in Tulsa in 2010.

In May of 2012, Tyner pleaded guilty to his involvement in the murders and received six counts of life without parole. Tyner is being held in a Maryland correctional facility.

Investigators identified Cochran as one of the murders after one of his relatives came forward and disclosed that Cochran had bragged about the incident and gave details only the murder(s) would have known.

In Nov. of 2014, formal charges were filed against Cochran and Hogshooter.

In Feb. of 2015, Cochran pleaded guilty and was sentenced to only 25-years in prison. As a part of Cochran's plea deal he has agreed to testify at trial against Phillips and Hogshooter.

On May 16, 2016 the final two defendants, Denny Phillips and Russell Hogshooter, began what is expected to be a four to six week trial in an Oklahoma County court.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Additional Resources:

  1. Denny Edward Phillips' OSCN court record regarding his murder charges and trial.
  2. Russell Lee Hogshooter and Jonathan Allen Cochran OSCN court record regarding their murder charges.
  3. David Allen 'Hooligan' Tyner's OSCN court record regarding his murder charges.
  4. DOC profile for Jonathan Cochran,
  5. 7/3/2013 - The Village Voice - 'How an ex-marine's elaborate hit man fantasies came true.'
  6. 7/4/2013 - LA Weekly - 'A slaughter in Oklahoma: David Tyner spun elaborate fantasies about being a hit man. One day they came true,'