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Press Release

Oklahoma Department Of Corrections Inmate Sentenced To 22 Years For 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 Kenneth Leon Thomas, Jr., age 35, of Okemah, Oklahoma, was sentenced to 270 months in prison for Second Degree Murder in Indian Country.

The charge arose from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

On April 19, 2023, Thomas pleaded guilty to one count of an Information of Murder in Indian Country—Second Degree.  According to investigators, on May 31, 2022, during a dispute over switching cells at the Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville (since renamed the Allen Gamble Correctional Center), Thomas had an altercation with a fellow inmate and stabbed the inmate three times, killing him.  The crime occurred in Hughes County, within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma.  At the time of the murder, Thomas was serving 8 years on a state court conviction out of Comanche County for Assault and Battery on a Police Officer.

The Honorable Keith Starrett, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, sitting by assignment, presided over the hearing in Muskogee.  Thomas will remain in custody of the U.S. Marshal pending transportation to a designated United States Bureau of Prisons facility to serve a non-paroleable sentence of incarceration.

Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Howanitz represented the United States.

Updated April 30, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime