Dec. 31—The new year means a new chapter and 2023 will be a year for old criminal cases slated for district court.
Several of those cases were dropped by the state amid the 2020 McGirt ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. Since another Court ruling over the summer wherein the state can prosecute cases involving a non-Native accused of a committing a crime against a Native on the reservation, some cases were picked back up by the state.
Some criminal court cases that had some movement in 2022 include:
1. The accused killer of the "Daisy Doe" case was in court several times throughout the year. James Vogel was charged in 2017 for killing Jeanette Ellen Coleman in 1988. Along with being accused of murder, Vogel is suspected of engaging in a pattern of criminal offenses, including obstruction and perjury. The suspect allegedly gave false statements as he testified in front of a grand jury. His next court appearance is slated for Jan. 25.
2. Denise Lynn Grass was sentenced to 23 years in federal prison for the 2019 murder of Elvis Dry. Dry's burned body was found in his back yard and his wheelchair was discovered burned about 15 yards away. Grass was hired by Dy as his live-in caretaker and stabbed the victim several times before she set him on fire. The case was dismissed by the state and picked up by the U.S. District Court. Grass pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Aug. 31.
3. Saiane Studie's 2019 first-degree murder case was tossed out due to the McGirt ruling. Studie was charged in the stabbing death of her stepfather when she was 15 years old. According to online court reports, she was charged with murder and pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in federal court. A sentencing hearing has not been scheduled.
4. Nick and Gene Mabray were charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and kidnapping in 2021. According to reports, the father and son held a man against his will while discussing whether to kill him. Odom Hoffman was charged for his role when he allegedly informed Gene and Nick that they needed to kill the victim and dump the body in the lake. Hoffman's charges of first-degree soliciting for murder and accessory to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon were dropped. The case against all three men was dismissed on April 8, 2021, in the wake of the McGirt ruling. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma picked up the case, and federal agents found probable cause that Nick and Gene committed the crime of assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to cause bodily harm. A jury trial is slated for Feb. 7.
5. Keia Marie Beaver was arrested in 2017 when she admitted to shooting Jeremy Wayne Faglie with a .22-caliber rifle at their Hulbert home. Beaver had been granted a release from jail before she was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshal Service. Beaver pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and is awaiting sentencing.
6. Kasie Keys was charged with eight counts: six counts of child abuse and two counts of child neglect. Court records indicate Mary Stockette, who specializes in child abuse pediatrics, said Keys is likely suffering from Munchausen by proxy syndrome, a serious mental illness that features a compulsive desire for attention and material goods. Jurors found the mom guilty of child abuse in November but a federal judge acquitted her.
7. Former Cherokee County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Young was charged with two counts of negligence homicide after he collided head-on with two people in 2020. The case was dismissed due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction but was picked back up by the state in October 2022. Young entered a plea of not guilty when he appeared in court Dec. 5 and he is slated to return to district court Jan. 23.