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Both federal and state courts will decide prison sentences for Reece brothers

Photo caption: Jeremy and Tyler Reece, brothers who killed local oilman Rick Holt in 2015 on Indian land. Courtesy Photo

With state charges stalling out, federal prosecutors have filed second degree murder charges against one of two Pawhuska brothers accused of killing a local oilman.

On Nov. 25, attorneys with the Northern District of Oklahoma filed second degree murder charges against Jeremy Reece.

Along with his brother Tyler, Jeremy Reece has been held in custody for more than four years in connection with the September 2015 death of Rick Holt, whose body was found on restricted Indian land northwest of Hominy with bullet wounds to the neck, shoulders and head.

The Reece brothers are citizens of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Holt’s body was found on Osage land, thus opening the door for proceedings in federal or tribal court under the Major Crimes Act.

As of Dec. 6, Tyler Reece remains in state custody and does not face federal charges. At a Feb. 20 status conference, his attorney indicated that he testified before a federal grand jury that the fatal blow was administered on Indian land.

State prosecutors have maintained that Holt was instead killed on his personal property, which would keep the case out of the federal court system and into Oklahoma’s.

No hearing date has been set yet for Jeremy Reece before Judge John Dowdell. A preliminary hearing for Tyler Reece is scheduled for Jan. 22, 2020, in Osage County District Court

Under Oklahoma statute, Tyler Reece could receive up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $5,000 for conspiracy to commit murder if found guilty, plus up to 20 years’ imprisonment for kidnapping.

The Osage Nation filed first degree homicide charges in May 2016 to ensure the brothers remained in custody after the state of Oklahoma missed an appeal deadline.

If convicted in tribal court, the brothers could face up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine and banishment from Osage lands for 20 years.