Man pleads guilty to 2019 Delaware County murder

TULSA, Okla. — A 28-year-old man pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday for the 2019 Delaware County murder of Jerry Tapp, as well as shooting a second victim.

Cody Dwayne Buzzard pleaded guilty to second degree murder in Indian Country and brandishing discharging a firearm during an in relation to a crime of violence. His brother, Dakota Buzzard, and his father, James Buzzard, are also charged with these crimes, according to U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Johnson said, “Today’s conviction was preceded by a meticulous and lengthy investigation by our local, state and federal law enforcement partners and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ben Tonkin and Victor Régal.”

According to court records, on Aug. 1, 2019, the Delaware county Sheriff’s Office responded to reports of a shooting near Jay, Okla. Deputies found Jerry Tapp deceased in his front yard. Investigators said it appeared that Tapp sustained multiple gunshot wounds to his body, and that a second victim sustained a gunshot wound to her arm. The victim told investigators that she heard a noise outside the house early that morning, and she thought Tapp had forgotten his keys to the house, court records revealed.

When the second victim turned on the light and opened the front door, she heard gunfire ad felt a sudden pain in her right wrist. She then shut and locked the front door, crawled to another room and dialed 911. While investigating the crime, OSBI agents found and seized approximately 12, .22 caliber spent casings in the yard, driveway and roadway.

On Aug. 6, 2019, investigators obtained Cody Buzzard’s Facebook records after a search warrant was served. The day before the shooting, Cody made inquiries using Facebook about getting a vehicle and a gun. He indicated that he “had business to tend to,” and he was going to “take care of a problem.”

During an interview with law enforcement, Dakota Buzzard allegedly said that he, James and Cody Buzzard drove toward Tapp’s house, parked up the street from the home and waited for him to return from work. James Buzzard also allegedly told his sons to retrieve a loaded .22 rifle from the trunk of the car. Dakota Buzzard said that once Tapp drove by, the three men followed him to his house.

After Tapp stepped out of his car, prosecutors alleged the Buzzards aided and abetted one another to shoot and kill Tapp and then shoot his girlfriend.