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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 9, 2020

Three Individuals Plead Guilty To Charges Including Murder, Assault Resulting In Serious Bodily Injury, And/Or Retaliating Against An Informant

MUSKOGEE, OKLAHOMA – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Tyler Ross Deerinwater, age 29, of Holdenville, Oklahoma entered a guilty plea to Murder In Indian Country- Second Degree, punishable by up to life imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000.00, or both; Tyler Shane Grandstaff, age 29, of Seminole, Oklahoma entered a guilty plea to Assault Resulting in Serious bodily injury in Indian Country, punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000.00, or both & to Retaliating Against an Informant, punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000.00, or both; and that Caleb Trent Hodgins, age 25, of Holdenville, Oklahoma entered a guilty plea to Assault Resulting in Serious bodily injury in Indian Country, punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine up to $250,000.00, or both. 

The Information alleged that on or about June 24, 2018, within the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Indian Country, the defendant, Tyler Ross Deerinwater, an Indian, willfully, deliberately, maliciously, and with malice aforethought, did unlawfully kill Jonathon Merriman with a firearm. 

The Information further alleged that on or about June 24, 2018, within the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Indian Country, defendants Grandstaff and Hodgins, both Indians, did assault Jonathon Merriman and P.H, resulting in serious bodily injury. Furthermore, on or about August 20, 2020, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, Grandstaff, did knowingly engage in conduct, specifically, assaulted R.H., which caused bodily injury to R.H., with the intent to retaliate for information given by R.H. to a law enforcement officer relating to the commission of a Federal offense. 

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

The Honorable Kimberly E. West, 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 the presentence investigation reports.    

Assistant United States Attorney Ryan Conway and Special Assistant United States Attorney Robert Reeves represented the United States at the plea hearings. 

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Updated October 13, 2020