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Press Release

Defendant Sentenced for Involuntary Manslaughter after Killing a Man at Tulsa’s Downtown Bus Station

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Oklahoma

A Tulsa man was sentenced today in federal court for involuntary manslaughter in Indian Country after killing Barry James Harrell during a brief altercation in downtown Tulsa, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Harlan Frank Hardiman, 51, to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release.

“Harlan Hardiman punched Barry Harrell in the head and walked away. When Mr. Harrell fell, his head struck the concrete, and he lay unconscious for 15 minutes before being discovered by a Tulsa police officer. He later died as a result of the injuries sustained at the hands of the defendant,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Harlan Hardiman will now spend the next two years in federal prison for his actions. I am thankful for the Tulsa Police Department and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Fletcher who pursued justice for the victim and his family.”

At a November plea hearing, Hardiman admitted that on Sept. 3, 2020, he punched Harrell in the head at the downtown Tulsa Transit bus terminal located at 319 S. Denver Ave. As a result of the punch, the victim fell and hit his head on the concrete sidewalk. Harrell subsequently died of a massive head bleed, called a subdural hematoma.

The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Fletcher is prosecuted the case. AUSA Fletcher is a prosecutor from the Northern District of Iowa. He volunteered to assist prosecution efforts here in the Northern District of Oklahoma due to the increased volume of cases since the Supreme Court’s ruling which stated the Creek Nation Reservation had never been officially disestablished by Congress. The United States and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation have jurisdiction of all cases that occur on the reservation involving Native American victims or defendants.


Public Affairs

Updated March 12, 2021