Fort Gibson man faces revocation in manslaughter case

Lane

A Fort Gibson man may spend 15 years in prison following a potential revocation of a suspended sentence for manslaughter, according to court documents.

Joseph Lane, 37, was convicted in 2018 of accidentally shooting his girlfriend, Jady Abbott, 34, in the head while retrieving a rifle from the couple's bedroom in December 2017. Due to the nature of Abbott's death, Lane received a suspended sentence, according to a prior Phoenix story.

"This was a tragic case involving the death of a wonderful lady with three children," Muskogee County District Attorney Orvil Loge said in a prior story. "After much discussion with members of the family it was decided it would not be doing anyone justice to send him to prison."

Lane could not be absolved of guilt entirely, however, because he failed to check the rifle before handling it, Loge said.

"It was an accidental discharge of a weapon," Loge said. "But at the same time everybody should have a conscious awareness of gun safety. He didn't and there was reckless handling of a weapon."

The shooting occurred when Lane went to retrieve a rifle while the couple prepared to leave their home, according to affidavit filed with the case. Lane carried the rifle out of the home, not realizing it was loaded, with his finger on the trigger. The gun went off, striking Abbott in the head, the affidavit stated.

"I asked Joseph Lane if he had checked the gun to see if it was loaded or to see if the gun was on safety before moving it," wrote former Muskogee County Sheriff's Deputy Faye Banks. "Joseph Lane advised he did not check the weapon, and did not know the gun was loaded."

Lane has since gone on to violate his probation, Loge said. Lane was arrested Friday in connection with the case as well as a failure to pay fines and court costs, according to a jail booking sheet.

"He's failed to comply with some of the terms of his probation," Loge said. "We filed a revocation in response."

Lane was released Monday on $5,000 bond. His next court appearance is Dec. 4. 

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