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Date: 10-26-2022

Case Style:

United States of America v. Jeffrey Sutton

Case Number: 4:22-cr-00007

Judge: Frank P Geraci, Jr.

Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma (Tulsa County)

Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office

Defendant's Attorney:

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Description: Tulsa, Oklahoma criminal law lawyer represented Defendant charged with assault with intent to commit murder in Indian Country and carrying, using and brandishing and discharging a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

effrey 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.

18 U.S.C. 1151 provides:

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.

18 U.S.C. 1152 provide:

Except as otherwise expressly provided by law, the general laws of the United States as to the punishment of offenses committed in any place within the sole and exclusive jurisdiction of the United States, except the District of Columbia, shall extend to the Indian country.

This section shall not extend to offenses committed by one Indian against the person or property of another Indian, nor to any Indian committing any offense in the Indian country who has been punished by the local law of the tribe, or to any case where, by treaty stipulations, the exclusive jurisdiction over such offenses is or may be secured to the Indian tribes respectively.

18 U.S.C. 113 provides:

§113. Assaults within maritime and territorial jurisdiction

(a) Whoever, within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, is guilty of an assault shall be punished as follows:

(1) Assault with intent to commit murder, by imprisonment for not more than twenty years.

(2) Assault with intent to commit any felony, except murder or a felony under chapter 109A, by a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both.

(3) Assault with a dangerous weapon, with intent to do bodily harm, and without just cause or excuse, by a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both.

(4) Assault by striking, beating, or wounding, by a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

(5) Simple assault, by a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both, or if the victim of the assault is an individual who has not attained the age of 16 years, by fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 1 year, or both.

(6) Assault resulting in serious bodily injury, by a fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than ten years, or both.

(7) Assault resulting in substantial bodily injury to an individual who has not attained the age of 16 years, by fine under this title or imprisonment for not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) As used in this subsection—

(1) the term “substantial bodily injury” means bodily injury which involves—

(A) a temporary but substantial disfigurement; or

(B) a temporary but substantial loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member, organ, or mental faculty; and

(2) the term “serious bodily injury” has the meaning given that term in section 1365 of this title.

Outcome: Defendant was found guilty by a jury.

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