Murder Charge Dismissed Against Pawhuska Man

Thursday, September 22nd 2016, 2:22 pm
By: News On 6

A Pawhuska man charged in Osage Nation tribal court with the death of his girlfriend in 2015 has been released from jail and the charge dismissed.

Starr Pennington died at a Pawhuska hospital in August 2015 after what investigators called a night of heavy drinking with Thomas Eaves.

Osage Nation Attorney General Jeff Jones says Thomas Eaves was charged in tribal court this year after a federal judge's ruling led prosecutors to dismiss the federal charge against him. 

Jones says the Osage Nation charge was only a misdemeanor because tribal courts only have jurisdiction to prosecute misdemeanors.

4/18/2016 Related Story: Pawhuska Man In Osage Nation Custody After Girlfriend's Death

Jones says Eaves' public defender filed a motion to dismiss because Eaves had been sitting in jail for 163 days.  On Thursday, an Osage Nation judge granted the motion, saying Eaves' right to a speedy trial had been violated.

Jones says Eaves wasn't appointed a public defender by the tribal court until recently and because Eaves was in jail for so long, Jones did not oppose the motion.