A Mayes County man will serve 20 years to 25 years in federal prison as part of a plea agreement reached with prosecutors in connection with the 2019 hammer-beating death of his girlfriend.
Harvey Dale Murphy, 41, admitted to one count of second-degree murder Wednesday in Indian Country in connection with the murder of Kimmy Jo Stipes, 52, inside a Mayes County residence on Oct. 31, 2019.
A judge will decide at sentencing whether to accept the plea agreement and, if so, the specific length of Murphy’s sentence.
In the plea agreement, Murphy admitted to intentionally hitting Stipes in the head and body multiple times while he was under the influence of methamphetamine.
Murphy was initially indicted by a grand jury April 7, 2021, on one count of first-degree murder in Indian Country.
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Federal prosecutors in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Oklahoma sought the indictment just prior to a Mayes County District Court on April 13, 2021, dismissing state first-degree murder charges against him.
At the time, state courts were dismissing pending criminal cases when a major crime involving a tribal citizen occurred within tribal reservations recently acknowledged by the courts as still in existence.
In Murphy’s case, he is a non-tribal member while Stipes was a member of the Cherokee Nation and the murder occurred within the Cherokee Nation reservation.
A sentencing date has not been set.