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Press Release

Ada Resident Sentenced To Life For First Degree Murder In Indian Country

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Oklahoma

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Tyler Jay Mullins, age 45, of Ada, Oklahoma, was sentenced to concurrent life sentences in prison for one count of Murder in Indian Country—First Degree, and one count of Causing the Death of a Person in the Course of a Violation of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c).

The charges arose from investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of the State of Oklahoma, and the Ada Police Department.

On June 30, 2022, Mullins was found guilty by a federal jury of one count of Murder in Indian Country—First Degree, and one count of using a firearm to commit that murder.  Evidence presented at trial established that in the early morning hours of April 20, 2002, Mullins attacked and beat the victim, transported the victim to another location, then shot the victim three times and buried the body.  Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation agents found the victim’s blood in Mullins’ trunk and on his shoe, leading to Mullins’ eventual confession and disclosure of the location of the victim’s body.

The crimes occurred in Pontotoc and Seminole Counties, within the boundaries of the Chickasaw Nation Reservation and the Seminole Nation Reservation, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma.  Mullins originally entered a guilty plea to a state district court charge of First Degree Murder in Pontotoc County District Court in December 2002.  That conviction was vacated in March 2021 based on the United States Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma, handed down in July 2020.

“Although the pursuit of justice for the victim’s family was interrupted by a change in jurisdiction, the cooperative work of state and federal law enforcement allowed the United States Attorney’s Office to successfully prosecute the case after more than twenty years,” said United States Attorney Christopher J. Wilson. “The sentences imposed in federal prison now ensure the defendant will spend the rest of his life answering for his heinous crimes.”

The Honorable Charles B. Goodwin, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, sitting by assignment, presided over the hearings in Oklahoma City.  Mullins will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshal pending transportation to a designated United States Bureau of Prisons facility to serve his non-paroleable sentence of incarceration.

Assistant United States Attorneys Patrick M. Flanigan and Gregory Dean Burris represented the United States.

Updated February 1, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime