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Press Release

Federal Jury Convicts Seminole 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 Coker Dean Barker, age 36, of Seminole, 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, April 3, 2023, and concluded on Monday, April 10, 2023, with the guilty verdicts.

During the trial, the United States presented evidence that in April of 2019, Barker brutally attacked and killed a 43-year-old Seminole man.  During the fatal attack, Barker stabbed and beat the victim, and fired multiple rounds into his body.  Autopsy results revealed the victim sustained 18 broken ribs, two punctured lungs, and bullet wounds from multiple firearms.  After killing the victim, Barker burned the evidence to evade prosecution, and attempted to flee to Mexico.  U.S. Customs and Border Protection apprehended Barker before he crossed the border and returned him to Oklahoma for prosecution.  After his indictment in 2021, the defendant escaped from jail, but was captured by U.S. Marshals and returned to custody.

The guilty verdicts were the result of investigations by the Seminole Police Department, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Texas Rangers, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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 crimes occurred in Seminole County, within the boundaries of the Seminole Nation Reservation of Oklahoma and the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

The Honorable John F. Heil, III, 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.  The sentencing will be scheduled following completion of the report.  The defendant will remain in custody of the U.S. Marshals until sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorneys Kevin Gross and Zachary Parsons represented the United States.

Updated April 25, 2023

Violent Crime
Indian Country Law and Justice
Firearms Offenses