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Press Release

Washington Sentenced To Life For Murder

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 Tanner Dean Washington, age 29, of Ada, Oklahoma, was sentenced to life in prison for the 2019 murder of his girlfriend, Faith Lindsey.

The charges arose from investigations by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the District 22 District Attorney Drug and Violent Crime Taskforce, the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, the Pontotoc County Sheriff’s Office, the Pauls Valley Police Department, the Chickasaw Nation Lighthorse Police Department, and the Chickasaw Nation Emergency Management.

On August 31, 2022, Washington pleaded guilty to one count of Murder in Indian Country—Second Degree.  As part of the plea, Washington admitted to murdering 17-year-old Faith Lindsey on October 27, 2019.  According to investigators, on October 29, 2019, Lindsey’s family called the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office to report Lindsey as a missing person.  During the investigation, law enforcement officers uncovered evidence of blood in two of Washington’s automobiles as well as on a pair of sunglasses found in one of the vehicles.  Law enforcement interviewed witnesses who reported that on the night Lindsey went missing, Washington admitted Lindsey “was dead” and “it was his fault.”  The crime occurred in Pontotoc County, within the boundaries of the Chickasaw Nation Reservation, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma.  Despite an extensive investigation and exhaustive search efforts, Lindsey’s body has yet to be found.

“The defendant’s life sentence is part of our effort to seek justice and accountability for the tragic murder of an innocent young woman, who had a long and vibrant life ahead of her,” said FBI Oklahoma City Acting Special Agent in Charge Sonia Garcia.  “I am grateful for the unwavering work of our investigators and our law enforcement partners in this case – may it bring some measure of peace to the victim’s family.”

“The OSBI, along with other law enforcement agencies, continues to search for Faith Lindsey,” said OSBI Public Information Manager Hunter McKee.  “We appreciate everyone’s hard work and dedication in arresting and prosecuting the suspect responsible for this heinous crime.  We will continue our search for Faith and will not give up our efforts until she is brought home.”

“I applaud the great work of the Eastern District U.S. Attorney’s Office for the successful prosecution of Tanner Washington,” said District Attorney Erik Johnson for District 22 comprising Pontotoc, Seminole, and Hughes Counties.  “This case has left holes in a lot of hearts in Pontotoc County, and I’m glad to see that Tanner Washington will spend the rest of his days in federal prison.”

“The Chickasaw Lighthorse Police Department recognizes the valuable partnership between the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the District 22 District Attorney Drug and Violent Crime Task Force, the Seminole and Pontotoc County Sheriff's Offices, and the Pauls Valley Police Department for their work to bring resolution to this case,” said Charles C. Palmer, Chief of the Chickasaw Nation Lighthorse Police Department.  “The combined efforts to seek justice for a Chickasaw citizen within the Chickasaw Nation highlights the continued working relationship of law enforcement within Indian Country.”

“The sentence imposed was a direct result of the defendant’s heinous crime and—despite pleading guilty—his callous refusal to provide the location of the victim’s body,” said United States Attorney Christopher J. Wilson.  “I commend the work of state, county, tribal, and federal law enforcement in identifying Washington as the suspect and of our federal prosecutors in advocating for a life sentence.”

The Honorable Ada E. Brown, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, sitting by assignment, presided over the hearing in Muskogee.  Washington 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 Ryan Conway represented the United States.

Updated May 6, 2024

Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime