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Press Release

Wilburton Couple Sentenced For Role In Murder-For-Hire Scheme

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 Courtney Nicole Deatherage, age 28, and Dustin Keith Deatherage, 27, both of Wilburton, Oklahoma, were sentenced for their roles in a murder-for-hire plot.

On March 27, 2024, Courtney Deatherage was sentenced to 120 months in prison for one count of Use of Interstate Facility in Murder-for-Hire, and Dustin Deatherage was sentenced to 97 months in prison for one count of Use of Interstate Facility in Murder-for-Hire.

The charges arose from investigations by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the Latimer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wilburton Police Department.

In July of 2023, the Deatherages each pleaded guilty to the charge.  According to investigators, on January 21, 2021, Courtney Deatherage contacted an individual to request a murder-for-hire and to negotiate terms.  Over text messages, Courtney Deatherage specified the target, gave instructions, and agreed to an upfront fee, with the same amount to be paid out after the murder.  On January 22, 2021, Courtney and Dustin met in person with the individual they believed they were hiring to perform the murder, paid a down payment on the contract, and produced a loaded 12-guage shotgun to be used in the murder.  Courtney and Dustin Deatherage were arrested by law enforcement shortly after completing their transaction, and the target of the murder-for-hire plot was unharmed.

United States Attorney Christopher J. Wilson commended the OSBI and local law enforcement for their work in uncovering the defendants’ scheme.

The Honorable Ronald A. White, Chief Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, presided over the hearing.  The Deatherages will remain in custody of the U.S. Marshal pending transportation to a designated United States Bureau of Prisons facility to serve non-paroleable sentences of incarceration.

Assistant United States Attorney Patrick M. Flanigan represented the United States.

Updated April 10, 2024

Firearms Offenses
Violent Crime