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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 19, 2021

Defendant Sentenced for Killing a Man and Injuring Another in a DUI Collision

 A Tulsa man who drove intoxicated and caused a wreck that killed one man and seriously injured another was sentenced today in federal court.

“Redex Lester Jr. acted without regard for human life when he drove intoxicated on May 25, 2020, killing Wayne Thomas and injuring a second victim in a head-on collision. This conviction follows four previous state convictions for DUI. He will now spend the next 15 years in federal prison to account for this senseless crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

At today’s hearing, Chief U.S. District Judge John F. Heil III sentenced Redex Lester Jr., 54, to 15 years in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release.

Judge Heil reminded Lester that a life was lost and that such a tragedy couldn’t be fixed or changed. He urged Lester to take part in treatment programs while imprisoned so that a loss like this could never happen again. He further urged others not to make the same mistakes.

On April 8, 2021, Lester 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 a 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.  

The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chantelle D. Dial and Christopher J. Nassar are prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Contact: 
Public Affairs 918-382-2755
Updated August 19, 2021