TULSA, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma man has been convicted of murder and arson in the burning deaths of his mother and grandmother.
Joseph Allen Hernandez, 34, of Marble City was found guilty Friday by a jury in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma in Tulsa, according to acting U.S. Attorney Christopher Wilson.
An attorney for Hernandez did not immediately return a phone call for comment on Saturday.
Hernandez was initially charged in state court, but the charges were dropped and federal charges filed following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in what is known as the McGirt decision.
The McGirt ruling found that Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction over crimes committed on tribal reservations by or against tribal citizens.
Hernandez is a member of the Cherokee Nation and the crime occurred within the boundaries of the Cherokee reservation.
Prosecutors say Hernandez doused his mother, Audrey Hernandez, and his grandmother, Francis Wright, with gasoline in June 2019 then set them on fire at a home in Marble City.
Witnesses testified both women said Hernandez poured gasoline on them and set them on fire.