Wooden gavel

A Broken Arrow woman was found guilty in federal court of second-degree murder in Indian Country, according to a release from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

Miranda Lynne Ree, 24, was found guilty by a federal jury.

The jury trial began with testimony on June 1, and concluded on Thursday,with the guilty verdict. Ree was indicted in September 2020 on the charge of first-degree murder. After considering the evidence presented at trial, the jury found Ree guilty of the lesser included offense of second-degree murder, which is punishable by any term of years or life in imprisonment.

The evidence presented at trial proved that on or about Sept. 27, 2018, Ree, an Indian, unlawfully killed Bryan James Chaney with a knife. The crime occurred in Wagoner County, within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

The guilty verdict was the result of an investigation by the Wagoner County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“The defendant was originally charged in the District Court of Wagoner with Murder in the First Degree, but the case was dismissed after the Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma,” said Acting United States Attorney Christopher J. Wilson. “Once the state charge was dismissed, the Federal Bureau of Investigation picked up the investigation and prosecution of the case was initiated by our office. The verdict today in federal court represents the next step in ensuring the defendant is held responsible for unlawfully killing Bryan James Chaney.”

“Craig Gestring, the lead prosecutor in the case, is an assistant U.S. attorney from the Middle District of Florida, Wilson said. “Mr. Gestring volunteered to handle cases in the Eastern District. I am appreciative of Mr. Gestring and other Department of Justice attorneys who have come to our aid after the McGirt decision dramatically increased the number of violent crime cases our office has been required to handle.”

Ronald A. White, U.S. district judge presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled following completion of the report. Ree was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending the imposition of sentencing.

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