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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 16, 2021

Tulsa Man Sentenced to 210 Months in Federal Prison for Strangling his Wife to Death

A Tulsa man who strangled and killed his wife in 2019 was sentenced today in federal court, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

“Brandon Smith was sentenced to 210 months in federal prison for the murder of Cynthia Mayfield. My thoughts today are with the victim’s loved ones who have been affected by this horrific crime,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “My office and our partners at the FBI and Tulsa Police Department will continue to pursue justice on behalf of victims of domestic violence and their families."

Following his nearly 18-year prison sentence, Smith, 38, will spend five years on supervised release.

In May 2021, Smith pleaded guilty to second degree murder Indian Country. Smith admitted that on March 4, 2019, he strangled his wife until she became unconscious and then continued until she was dead.

After he killed the victim, the defendant called a relative in Tahlequah to come pick up the children. The family member arrived, checked the victim’s pulse, and told Smith to call 911. While on the phone, the 911 operator suggested that Smith perform CPR. Smith replied that he did not want to do CPR because the victim had been dead for over an hour.

According to evidence presented at the sentencing, Mayfield was about to leave the abusive relationship and move back to her home state of California, but Smith killed her before she was able to flee.

In a statement to the court, the victim’s daughter told the judge that although her mother and the defendant slept in separate rooms the last few years, the rooms were not equal. The victim was forced to sleep in a room with no doors and no bed. She slept on the floor with only a blanket and pillow while the defendant slept in a room with a door, a television and a queen size bed. She stated that he had control over every aspect of her mother’s life. “He was endlessly cruel and vicious. My heart aches knowing how she suffered."

Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross Lenhardt presented evidence that showed the defendant was a long-time drug user. Smith regularly abused heroin, cocaine, mushrooms, marijuana, LSD, methamphetamine and alcohol. Lenhardt further put into the record sexually suggestive text messages that were sent by the defendant to a minor. He asked U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan to also consider those texts when handing down the sentence.

Smith is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. The crime occurred at the couple’s home within the boundaries of the Muscogee Nation reservation. Smith remains in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service until transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility.

The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ross E. Lenhardt prosecuted the case. Mr. Lenhardt is a prosecutor from the Western District of Pennsylvania. He 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 Nation and Cherokee Nation Reservations.

Topic(s): 
Indian Country Law and Justice
Violent Crime
Contact: 
Public Affairs 918-382-2755
Updated August 16, 2021