TULSA, Okla. – A 29-year-old Tulsa man was sentenced to prison on February 22 for the death of his girlfriend that occurred in July 2020.
According to reports, James Michael Landry was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.
On July 10, Tulsa officers and emergency personnel were dispatched to Philpott Park, located in the 1100 block of W. 37th Street, around 11 a.m. to investigate a 911 call.
The caller reported that a man asked for help because the man’s girlfriend was going to die.
When first responders arrived at the park, they found Landry standing over a woman who was lying on the ground.
While interviewing Landry, officers noted that the man was acting strangely and told them some conflicting statements, so they put him in investigative detention while they continued to investigate the situation.
During the investigation, the medical examiner found a gunshot wound to the victim’s head.
At the scene, detectives found a double-barrel shotgun hidden underneath some sticks next to a tree.
Landry admitted to police that the gun was his. He also admitted to pointing the gun at the victim before the incident and also on the same day the victim died.
Landry told officers that he and the victim were arguing, and he was holding the firearm. At some point, he said the woman put the gun in her mouth while he was still holding it.
Landry said the gun was fired unintentionally.
Since the victim was an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation, and the crime allegedly took place on the Creek Nation reservation, charges against Landry were filed in federal court on July 13.
Landry was arrested just one day after the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in the case of McGirt v. Oklahoma, which determined that all major crimes that occurred in much of eastern Oklahoma, and specifically in this case, on the Creek Nation reservation, and involved Native American defendants and/or victims are required to be tried in federal court.
Although he was originally charged with murder in the first degree, Landry pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of voluntary manslaughter on November 17.
In a written statement, U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said, “One of the very first cases we opened after the McGirt decision has come to a just conclusion in my last week as U.S. Attorney. Michael Landry is headed to federal prison for killing Crystal Bradley at Tulsa’s Philpott Park. This prosecution is the result of cooperation among state, federal, and tribal entities in pursuit of a common goal- justice.
“I also understand that there is no amount of prison time that can replace the loss of life. My heart goes out to the family of Crystal Bradley as they continue to grieve her tragic loss.”