Jury Convicts Mounds Man of Shooting a Former Girlfriend in 2021
A federal jury convicted a Mounds man Wednesday in federal court for shooting his girlfriend when she tried to end their relationship in 2021, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Jeffrey Sutton, 54, was found guilty of carrying, using, brandishing, and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence and assault with dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm in Indian Country.
“More than 4 million American women have reported being threatened with a firearm in homes with domestic violence. Access to firearms by a domestic abuser makes it five times more likely that an abuser will kill his partner,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Thankfully, the victim in this case survived Jeffrey Sutton’s attack and testified against him at trial. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven Briden and Kristin Harrington’s dedication to protecting domestic violence victims is to be commended. Together, with our law enforcement partners, they ensured Mr. Sutton’s conviction this week in federal court.”
On December 2, 2021, the defendant, Jeffrey Sutton returned to his Mounds home and found that his girlfriend, the victim, had moved her belongings out onto the front lawn. She had decided to move out of the house after multiple arguments occurred between the two.
Sutton and the victim argued outside their residence. Then Sutton drew a 9mm handgun and fired at least eight times toward the victim. One of the shots stuck the victim in the chest near her armpit. She retreated into the house, and Sutton chased her, threatening to kill her and “all her people in Bixby.”
Sutton continued to threaten to shoot the victim while in the house and refused to call 911.
The victim then fled outside to her neighbor’s house. Sutton again chased her and shouted toward the neighbors, “I’m not trying to shoot you; I’m just trying to shoot her.” The neighbors allowed the victim inside, hid her in a closet and called 911.
A deputy from the Tulsa County Sheriff’s Department was the first to respond to the scene and found Sutton in the front lawn. Sutton was still carrying the firearm, which was empty at that point. He called the victim an expletive and stated that she “was trying to kick me out of the house.” Sutton was taken into custody.
Law enforcement applied pressure to the victim’s wound at the crime scene and described the victim as “in shock.” She was then transported to the hospital, where it was determined that her chest injury had an entry wound and then a graze pattern, but the bullet was no longer inside her. She was treated and later released from the hospital.
An investigator from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was called to the scene and identified eight shell casings outside near Sutton’s truck. He further found multiple bullet holes and defects in the front of the house, in the victim’s belongings on the front lawn, and inside the house.
A trajectory analysis showed that several shots were fired from the direction of the truck that struck the residence door where the victim was retreating to.
In closing arguments, the defense argued that the victim was not credible and that Sutton was only trying to protect himself and deescalate the situation.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Briden reminded the jury that Sutton was the owner of a Bixby gun store and trained in handling a firearm, and that the only one trapped and scared during the shooting incident was the victim. Sutton, he argued, picked out a firearm from his vehicle that was fully loaded with a 17-round magazine then closed the distance between himself and the victim when he chased her and fired at her again and again. He then reminded the jury that the victim’s testimony, witness testimony, and the trajectory analysis at the crime scene all pointed to the same thing— that Sutton was guilty on all counts.
The FBI, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office and Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven J. Briden and Kristin F. Harrington are prosecuting the case.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men report having experienced severe physical violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime. Further, about 1 in 5 women and 1 in 13 men have experienced sexual violence by an intimate partner. Data from U.S. crime reports suggest that over half of female homicide victims in the United States are killed by a current or former male intimate partner.
To learn about domestic violence resources or seek help, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233; https://www.thehotline.org/ In a domestic violence emergency, dial 911.