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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 9, 2021

Defendant Pleads Guilty for Killing a Man and Injuring Another in a DUI Collision

A Tulsa man who drove intoxicated and caused a collision that killed one man and seriously injured another pleaded guilty today in federal court, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Redex Lester Jr., 54, pleaded guilty to murder in the second degree in Indian Country and to assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian Country.

In the early evening of May 25, 2020, Lester Jr. drove intoxicated, exceeded the speed limit, and struck another vehicle head on. Wayne Thomas, a passenger in the other vehicle, died of his injuries three days following the crash. Another man suffered extensive, serious bodily injuries. At the time of the collision, Lester Jr. was driving on a suspended license and had a blood alcohol level of .239. 

Previously, the defendant had been convicted by the state of DUI in 1992, 1994, 2005, and, again, in February 2020. For his February 2020 DUI conviction, Lester Jr. was sentenced to six months, suspended. The May 25, 2020, DUI collision and death occurred less than four months later while Lester was still on state supervision.  

“Redex Lester Jr. chose time and again to drive intoxicated. Because of his reckless behavior, he killed a man and seriously injured another,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Thanks to the work of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chantelle Dial and Christopher Nassar, the defendant has been held accountable for this tragic loss of life.”

The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chantelle D. Dial and Christopher J. Nassar are prosecuting the case. Ms. Dial is a prosecutor from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Western District of Washington. She volunteered to assist prosecution efforts here in the Northern District of Oklahoma due to increased jurisdictional responsibilities regarding crimes involving Native American victims or defendants and that occur within the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Cherokee Nation Reservations. Ms. Dial recently extended six more months to assist with the mission.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Contact: 
Public Affairs 918-382-2755
Updated April 9, 2021