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Press Release

Texas Resident Pleads Guilty To Arson, Animal Crushing, And Assault 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 Raymond David Phillips, age 32, of Lindale, Texas, entered a guilty plea to a Superseding Indictment charging him with one count of Arson, punishable by 5 to 20 years in prison, one count of Animal Crushing in Indian Country, punishable by up to 7 years in prison, and two counts of misdemeanor Assault in Indian Country, each punishable by up to one year in prison.

The government alleged in the Superseding Indictment that on September 3, 2022, Phillips and his girlfriend were vacationing at a resort area along the Illinois River when his girlfriend was arrested.  Angered by the arrest, Phillips decapitated the resort owner’s cat, then began burning other guests’ camping equipment.  Law enforcement arrested Phillips at the Cherokee County Detention Center, where he had arrived to bail out his girlfriend.   After being taken into custody, Phillips threatened and assaulted jail and law enforcement officers.

The charges arose from an investigation by the Grand River Dam Authority 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 Cherokee County, within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation Reservation and the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

The Honorable Gerald L. Jackson, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Muskogee, accepted the pleas and ordered the completion of a presentence investigation report. Sentencing will be scheduled following completion of the report.  Phillips was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Gross represented the United States.

Updated February 23, 2024

Animal Welfare
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime