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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Muskogee Resident Of 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 today that Robert William Rainford, age 50, of Muskogee, Oklahoma was found guilty by a federal jury of one count of First-Degree Murder in Indian Country, one count of Use, Carry, Brandish, and Discharge of a Firearm During and in Relation to a Crime of Violence, and one count of Causing Death with a Firearm.

The jury trial began with testimony on Monday, May 1, 2023, and concluded on Friday, May 5, 2023, with the guilty verdicts. Based on the verdicts, the defendant is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment.

During the trial, the United States presented evidence that on or about December 12, 2021, the defendant shot his 49-year old neighbor ten times and killed him.  The defendant claimed insanity, arguing that he was involuntarily intoxicated on prescription Adderall at the time of the crime.  The Government refuted this at trial, showing that while the defendant had used methamphetamine and abused his prescription Adderall, he understood the actions he took when he killed his neighbor.

The guilty verdicts were the result of an investigation by the Muskogee County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma prosecuted the case because the victim in this case is a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe and the crimes occurred within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation.

The Honorable Margaret Strickland, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, sitting by designation, presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence report.  The defendant was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin Gross and Ryan Bondura represented the United States at trial.

Updated May 10, 2023

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice
Firearms Offenses