Wagoner County Murder Case Dismissed After McGirt Decision Prosecuted By United States Attorney’s Office For The Eastern District Of Oklahoma
MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that Miranda Lynne Ree, age 24, of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma was found guilty by a federal jury of Murder Second Degree in Indian County.
The jury trial began with testimony on Tuesday, June 1, 2021, and concluded on Thursday, June 3, 2021 with the guilty verdict. The defendant was indicted in September 2020 on the charge of Murder I. After considering the evidence presented at trial, the jury found Ree guilty of the lesser included offense of Murder II. Murder in the Second Degree is punishable by any term of years or life in imprisonment.
The evidence presented at trial proved that on or about September 27, 2018, Ree, an Indian, unlawfully killed Bryan James Chaney with a knife. The crime occurred in Wagoner County, within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.
The guilty verdict was the result of an investigation by the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“The defendant was originally charged in the District Court of Wagoner with Murder in the First Degree, but the case was dismissed after the Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma,” said Acting United States Attorney Christopher J. Wilson. “Once the state charge was dismissed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation picked up the investigation and prosecution of the case was initiated by our office. The verdict today in federal court represents the next step in ensuring the defendant is held responsible for unlawfully killing Bryan James Chaney.”
“Craig Gestring, the lead prosecutor in the case, is an Assistant United States Attorney from the Middle District of Florida,” said Wilson. “Mr. Gestring volunteered to handle cases in the Eastern District. I am appreciative of Mr. Gestring and other Department of Justice attorneys who have come to our aid after the McGirt decision dramatically increased the number of violent crime cases our office has been required to handle.”
The Honorable Ronald A. White, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled following completion of the report. Ree was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending the imposition of sentencing.
Special Assistant United States Attorney Craig Gestring and Assistant United States Attorney Michael Warren represented the United States.
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