TULSA, Okla. — Tulsa police say state prosecutors will have to dismiss a case against a serial robbery suspect who was about to plea to a 20-year prison sentence in state court.
The dismissal is part of the fallout from the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in favor of Jimcy McGirt against the state of Oklahoma.
Justus Murphy is Native American and the crimes he reportedly committed happened on tribal land, so legally that means Murphy would have to be charged in federal or tribal court.
Murphy is accused of robbing four checking cashing businesses last winter.
Police say Murphy also pointed a gun at and tried to run over a security guard who was trying to stop him from stealing from an east Tulsa auto parts store.
He was charged with 14 state felonies.
Tulsa police robbery detectives say they spent hundreds of hours on the case, but now will have to do most of the work again if federal prosecutors decide to charge Murphy -- starting from scratch as if the state charges never even happened.
If they don’t, Murphy will be set free.
Tulsa County District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler says he had a virtual meeting with federal prosecutors and the attorney general on Tuesday, as they are still trying to figure out all the details and how they can make the transition as smooth as possible.
Kunzweiler says he isn’t sure how many cases will be affected at this time, but he said it will be “a healthy chunk”.
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