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Federal jury convicts Oklahoma man of first-degree murder

George McEntire Smith, a member of a federally recognized tribe, was found guilty by a federal jury of one count of first-degree murder.

MUSKOGEE, Okla. — The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced a Wagoner man was convicted by a federal jury for first-degree murder in Indian Country

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, George McEntire Smith, 22, was found guilty by a federal jury of one count of first-degree murder in Indian Country and one count of causing the death of a person by use of a firearm during and in relation to a violent crime. This is a federal case due to Smith being a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe and the crimes occurred within the boundaries of the Muscogee Creek Nation Reservation.

The jury trial began on Monday, August 1, 2022, and concluded on Friday, August 5, 2022, with Smith facing a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office says it presented evidence that on April 8, 2021, a 69-year-old male was shot and killed inside his residence in Wagoner and that physical evidence indicated that the victim was shot twice in the back of the head, at a close distance, with a .25-caliber firearm. 

The U.S. Attorney's Office reports that Smith told responding officers that he was with the victim when unknown intruders entered the residence, shot the victim, then fled. The investigation revealed that Smith was in possession of a .25-caliber firearm several hours before the victim was killed and that Smith's account of how the killing occurred was inconsistent with the physical evidence. 

The sentencing will be scheduled following the completion of a presentence report. Smith will remain in the custody of the U.S. Marshal until then.

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