OKLAHOMA CITY – JERRY RAY CRAINE, 37, of Perkins, Oklahoma, has been sentenced to ten years in prison for possessing a firearm after a misdemeanor conviction of domestic violence, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing.
According to an indictment filed on January 15, 2019, Craine possessed a 9mm semi-automatic handgun in Payne County on July 29, 2018. Because of his March 2018 misdemeanor conviction in state court for domestic assault and battery in the presence of minor children, his firearm possession was a federal crime.
According to court filings, Craine killed his own father with the firearm he possessed illegally. On July 29, 2018, he learned that his mentally unstable father had gained access to another firearm Craine possessed at his residence in Perkins. After his father threatened to shoot him, Craine retreated to his vehicle and retrieved the 9mm semi-automatic handgun, along with two magazines of ammunition. He then went back into the house, where his father shot at him and he returned fire. After shooting a dozen rounds, Craine retreated, reloaded, and killed his father by firing more shots. On October 24, 2018, the Payne County District Attorney’s Office charged him with manslaughter in the first degree.
On March 6, 2019, Craine pleaded guilty to the federal firearm charge. Citing a recent Supreme Court case, he later asked permission to withdraw his guilty plea because he claimed he did not know his misdemeanor conviction made it illegal for him to possess a firearm. The court denied his motion because that case did not change the principle that a prohibited person commits a federal crime by possessing a firearm, even if unaware of the prohibition.
Today, U.S. District Judge Stephen P. Friot sentenced Craine to ten years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. During the sentencing hearing, the court found that a cross-reference to first-degree murder applied under the United States Sentencing Guidelines.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation—Oklahoma City Field Office, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and the Perkins Police Department. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives and Payne County District Attorney Laura Austin Thomas and her office also provided support. Assistant U.S. Attorney Julia E. Barry prosecuted the case.
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Guardian, the Department of Justice’s signature initiatives to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws. For more information about Project Guardian, please see the Attorney General’s announcement here. The case is also part of "Operation 922," the district’s local implementation of Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Guardian. "Operation 922" prioritizes firearms prosecutions connected to domestic violence, including domestic violence abusers who possess a firearm and are subject to a victim protective order or have been previously convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
Reference is made to court filings for further information. To download a photo of U.S. Attorney Downing, click here.