PRYOR, Okla. — Two brothers accused of being involved in the fatal 2015 shooting of a northwestern Oklahoma man still face felony murder charges after a judge overturned a ruling on jurisdiction.
Jeremy and Tyler Reece are accused of kidnapping and shooting 46-year-old Rick Holt. Investigators have said Holt’s body was found burned and with multiple gunshot wounds in a shallow grave on tribal land near Hominy.
Osage County Judge Stuart Tate has twice ruled to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds, arguing that only the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the tribal court could handle it because the Reece brothers are members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and are accused of committing a crime on tribal land. Tate barred the case from being heard in state court.
But his decision was overturned Friday by District Judge Terry McBride, the presiding judge for the Northeast Judicial Administrative District, the Tulsa World (http://bit.ly/2rnaJGs ) reported.
McBride said the court needs to hear additional evidence to better determine whether Osage County has jurisdiction and whether the Reeces should stand trial for felony murder. McBride ordered Tate to schedule a preliminary hearing in the case.
Jeremy Reece’s attorney, Peter Astor, said the case should be handled in either the federal or tribal court systems. He said he’ll likely appeal McBride’s ruling.
“I feel the issue of subject-matter jurisdiction has been settled,” Astor said.
The Reeces are in custody at the Osage County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond each. Both are also facing murder charges in Osage tribal court, but the Osage County District Attorney’s Office has fought for nearly two years to independently prosecute the brothers.
Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com