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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Oklahoma

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 8, 2022

Federal Jury Convicts Oklahoma State Penitentiary Inmate Of Murder In Indian Country

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that William Clayton Brown, age 39, of McIntosh County, Oklahoma was found guilty by a federal jury of Murder in Indian Country, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1111(a), 1151, and 1153. The jury trial began on Tuesday, July 5, 2022, and concluded on Thursday, July 7. Based on the jury’s verdict, the Defendant is facing a mandatory minimum sentence of life imprisonment.

During the trial, the United States presented evidence that on October 19, 2019, the Defendant, a validated member of the Indian Brotherhood (IBH) prison gang, killed Mark Lawhead, his cellmate at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, by beating and strangling him. The evidence adduced at trial indicated that the Defendant committed the murder to improve his standing and reputation within the IBH.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma prosecuted the case because the Defendant is a member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe and the crime occurred in Pittsburg County, within the boundaries of the Choctaw Nation and the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

The guilty verdict was the result of an investigation by the Oklahoma Department of Corrections Office of Inspector General and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The Honorable Jodi W. Dishman, U.S. District Judge for the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, sitting in Oklahoma City, presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled following the completion of the report. Brown was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending the sentencing hearing.

Assistant United States Attorneys James Montoya and Casey Richmond represented the United States.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice
Updated July 8, 2022