A Tulsa man who assaulted and attempted to kidnap his intimate partner then tried to convince her to lie to authorities about the incident was sentenced Thursday in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Derek Lee Lovell, 37, to 80 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.
“Derek Lovell assaulted his partner, attempted to drag her to their car against her will, then tried to manipulate her into lying to protect him from prosecution,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will not tolerate domestic violence in Indian Country.”
In October, a federal jury convicted Lovell of attempted kidnapping in Indian Country; assault with intent to commit a felony; and attempting to influence, delay, and prevent testimony through corrupt persuasion.
On Jan. 28, 2021, the Tulsa Police Department responded to a Burger King near 1100 S. Harvard Ave. and 3242 E. 11th Street. Callers provided information that a man was assaulting a woman near the establishment. Callers further reported the man had a knife and fled in a silver Chrysler sedan.
Responding officers made contact with the female victim who stated that she had fled from her spouse as he chased her down the sidewalk. He eventually pinned her against a nearby concrete wall then attempted to drag her back to a vehicle. Officers observed the victim was visibly shaken. She was also concerned about cooperating with officers due to fear of reprisal.
During the assault, a driver pulled over and attempted to help the victim. Lovell then pulled out a pocketknife, approached the vehicle, stabbed the front right tire and shouted an expletive. Two other witnesses who tried to help the victim, along with camera footage, corroborated the driver’s statement to officers. The witnesses were also able to describe Lovell’s vehicle and license plate.
On Jan. 29, 2021, Tulsa Police officers executed a traffic stop on Lovell’s vehicle while on South Lewis Avenue and took the defendant into custody.
In court documents, Assistant U.S. Attorney Julie Childress noted the violence involved in the offense, Lovell’s attempts to thwart justice, and Lovell’s extensive criminal history, which included two domestic violence convictions within the last five years. Following those convictions, the state of Oklahoma filed revocation applications for Lovell’s failure to appear for supervision, failure to provide required residence and employment information, failure to complete batterer’s counseling, failure to obtain drug and alcohol assessments, and for new criminal charges. Childress suggested that Lovell’s criminal history demonstrated a complete failure of personal accountability.
Lovell is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, and the crimes were committed within the Muscogee Nation reservation.
The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julie A. Childress and Edward Snow prosecuted the case.