A Pawhuska man is in Osage Nation custody after federal prosecutors dismissed second-degree murder charges against him in his girlfriend's death.
Thomas Eaves will be prosecuted for second-degree homicide in the death of Starr Pennington, according to Jeff Jones, Osage Nation Attorney General. It's a misdemeanor charge, because tribal courts only have jurisdiction to prosecute misdemeanors, the AG said. That means the harshest sentence the Osage Nation could impose upon conviction is a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
Pennington died last August after what investigators called a night of heavy drinking. Her cause of death was blunt force trauma, according to authorities.
Court records show when Eaves brought Pennington to the hospital in Pawhuska, doctors tried to resuscitate her but believe she had been dead for hours.
According to the medical examiner’s report, Pennington died of blunt force trauma to the head, citing broken ribs, bruises all over her body and bleeding in her brain.
Jones said the Osage Nation could also banish Eaves from tribal property for up to 20 years. The banishment would only apply to Osage Nation land, he said.
Eaves was convicted of shooting and killing his father in 1986.