OKLAHOMA CITY, Oa – SAGE ATHEAKEE GOMEZ, 23, a member of the Ponca Tribe of Oklahoma, has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter, announced Robert J. Troester of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
According to court documents, on September 15, 2018, Gomez stabbed B.L.W., a member of the Tonkawa Tribe, at a rural residence on Indian land near Ponca City. The victim died of his wounds on October 2.
Gomez was charged by complaint on September 21 and made his initial appearance in federal court in Oklahoma City on September 25. He has remained in federal custody since that time.
On October 16, 2018, a federal grand jury charged Gomez with three federal crimes: voluntary manslaughter “upon sudden quarrel and heat of passion” in Indian Country, Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Indian Country, and Assault Resulting in Serious Bodily Injury in Indian Country.
On March 8, 2019, Gomez pleaded guilty to a superseding information that charged him with involuntary manslaughter. In particular, the new charge alleged that when he stabbed the victim during an altercation, Gomez committed a reckless act “without due caution and circumspection, which might produce death.”
The maximum penalty that could be imposed as a result of this guilty plea is eight years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Gomez could also face up to three years of supervised release and will be required to pay restitution to the victim’s estate. Sentencing will take place in approximately ninety days.
This case is result of an investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Arvo Q. Mikkanen and Matthew Anderson.
Reference is made to public filings for further information.
SOURCE: news provided by JUSTICE.GOV on March 11, 2019.