Pawhuska Murder Suspects Request Bond After DA Misses Appeal Deadline

Wednesday, May 18th 2016, 5:35 pm
By: News On 6

Friends and family of a murdered Pawhuska rancher are worried the two suspects might be back on the streets by next week. 

A mistake by the Osage County district attorney's office may be to blame.

Rick Holt's picture is now hanging up at The Pawhuska Country Club, one of his favorite stops.
"It just brings tears to your eyes and you think, 'My gosh, he should be here with us.' So unfair," his friend Kim Moen said. 

Osage County District Attorney Rex Duncan says Jeremy and Tyler Reece murdered Holt last September.

Court records say the brothers killed Holt because he had recently dated Jeremy Reece's ex-wife.

"Not only did they murder him, but they desecrated his body and then buried him and then tried to cover it all up," Moen said.

 A judge recently ruled Holt's murder and desecration happened on Indian Land - which means those are federal cases and the state can't prosecute.

9/22/2015: Related Story: Brothers Charged With First-Degree Murder Of Pawhuska Oilman

Duncan said he would appeal the jurisdiction ruling, the judge gave the DA's office five days to so and they missed the deadline.

"The judge was very clear," Moen said. "How could you miss the deadline? Just the incompetence, it just doesn't make any sense."

The DA says his office filed a motion to appeal, but filed it under the wrong court statute that would apply to a 10-day appeal. The mistake opened the door for the Reeces to request bond. 

"It's scary. Number one for their safety," Moen said. "And number two, I just can't even fathom them walking the same streets that my grandchildren, my friends, my family, Rick's friends and family all walk."

Duncan says he still doesn't believe bond will be set.

"I believe that is far-fetched and wishful thinking on their part," Duncan said.

The Reeces are charged with kidnapping. Duncan says that crime happened on state land.

He plans to amend the count to include murder, under the theory that in the course of the kidnapping Holt was murdered. A crime Holt's friends say someone should pay for.

"Justice for Rick is what we all want," said Moen. 

Duncan says jurisdiction hasn't been settled and says he is considering pursuing the death penalty. But if it goes to federal court, under the Indian Major Crimes Act, the federal government can't pursue the death penalty against tribal members.    

The Reece brothers are members of the Muscogee Creek Nation.