Please E-mail suggested additions, comments and/or corrections to Kent@MoreLaw.Com.
Case Number: 4:21-cr-00532-DLH
Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Defendant's Attorney: Whitney Mauldin
Description: Tulsa, Oklahoma criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with child neglect in Indian Country.
Lucas Jack Wood, age 21, was charged with child neglect for shaking a 4-month-old infant while she was in his care.
“An infant has sustained life altering injuries resulting from the abusive actions of Lucas Woods. This week, he has been held accountable by a federal jury,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “I am thankful to law enforcement and federal prosecutors Adam Bailey and Edward Snow whose commitment to this case ensured justice was secured for this young victim.”
“It is despicable to see harm inflicted upon the most precious beings in our society,” stated Special Agent in Charge Edward Gray, FBI Oklahoma City Field Office. “Let the conviction of Mr. Woods be a cautionary tale with the clear lesson that the abuse of children will never be tolerated or go unpunished. The FBI will never stop fighting for the vulnerable.”
On Aug. 29, 2021, Woods was caring for the child when he began sending panicked messages via Snapchat to the girl’s mother while she was at work. The messages indicated that he was struggling to care for the child and was growing frustrated and desperate, stating at 6:03 am “I can’t do this taking care of [child’s name] by myself…She’s not stopped since you left.” At 6:36 am, he messaged, “Baby I need you.” Sixteen minutes later, he messaged that the child had finally fallen asleep. At some point during the conversation, prosecutors said that Woods shook the child in frustration, injuring her. Over the next two days, the child became increasingly ill, which included vomiting, and began suffering seizures.
The victim was then taken to the hospital in Grove then flown to OU Medical Center in Oklahoma City for emergency pediatric treatment for a brain bleed. The infant was placed on a ventilator and was near death at times during her treatment. Medical tests revealed extensive retinal hemorrhages with subdural hematoma consistent with physical abuse, specifically abusive head trauma. A bruise described as “a squeeze mark” was also found on the child’s right upper arm. Physicians stated the injuries could not be plausibly explained by an accidental injury or other conditions. The infant was eventually discharged but continues to be treated for lasting injuries due to the abuse.
During an initial interview with FBI agents, Woods said he could not remember doing anything to the child but was having a mental health episode that day and was scared he could have harmed her. At a later interview on Nov. 8, 2021, Woods was re-interviewed and confessed to shaking the infant sometime while he was messaging the child’s mother on Aug. 29. He explained that he had taken his frustration out on the child and that he was ashamed. He told agents he could not face the reality of what he had done.
Following his conviction at trial, Woods was remanded into the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service.
The FBI, Delaware County Sheriff’s Office, and Grove Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adam C. Bailey and Edward Snow are prosecuting the case.
18 USC §1151. Indian country defined
Except as otherwise provided in sections 1154 and 1156 of this title, the term “Indian country”, as used in this chapter, means (a) all land within the limits of any Indian reservation under the jurisdiction of the United States Government, notwithstanding the issuance of any patent, and, including rights-of-way running through the reservation, (b) all dependent Indian communities within the borders of the United States whether within the original or subsequently acquired territory thereof, and whether within or without the limits of a state, and (c) all Indian allotments, the Indian titles to which have not been extinguished, including rights-of-way running through the same.
§1153. Offenses committed within Indian country
(a) Any Indian who commits against the person or property of another Indian or other person any of the following offenses, namely, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, maiming, a felony under chapter 109A, incest, assault with intent to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, assault resulting in serious bodily injury (as defined in section 1365 of this title), an assault against an individual who has not attained the age of 16 years, felony child abuse or neglect, arson, burglary, robbery, and a felony under section 661 of this title within the Indian country, shall be subject to the same law and penalties as all other persons committing any of the above offenses, within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States.
(b) Any offense referred to in subsection (a) of this section that is not defined and punished by Federal law in force within the exclusive jurisdiction of the United States shall be defined and punished in accordance with the laws of the State in which such offense was committed as are in force at the time of such offense.
Outcome: 04/12/2022 48 Preliminary PROPOSED JURY INSTRUCTIONS as to Lucas Jack Woods (alg, Dpty Clk) (Entered: 04/12/2022)
04/12/2022 49 MINUTES of Proceedings - held before Judge Daniel L Hovland: Jury Trial held , setting/resetting deadline(s)/hearing(s): ( Jury Trial set for 4/13/2022 at 09:00 AM before Judge Daniel L Hovland) as to Lucas Jack Woods (Court Reporter: Laura Griffin) (alg, Dpty Clk) (Entered: 04/12/2022)
Defendant was found guilty by a jury.