A Latimer County man convicted for crimes against children will be in court next week he claims the state does not have jurisdiction to prosecute him.
Keith Elmo Davis, 79, was found guilty by a Latimer County Jury in 2005 on one count of forcible sodomy and one count of lewd of indecent proposal to a child under sixteen and was sentenced to consecutive 20- and 15-year sentences in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections for the crimes, according to court documents.
Davis’ case is one of several cases remanded back to district courts across southeastern Oklahoma following the July 9 landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in McGirt v. Oklahoma.
The Supreme Court ruled Congress never “disestablished” the reservation status of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, and overturned the state conviction of Jimcy McGirt, who was retried in federal court and found guilty last week.
Court records show the Supreme Court granted Davis a Writ of Certiorari the same day as the McGirt decision, which vacated a decision by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and remanded the case back to OCCA “for further consideration in light of McGirt v. Oklahoma.”
According to court documents, OCCA originally affirmed a 2019 Latimer County Judge’s decision to deny Davis’ post-conviction relief after he contended the state did not have jurisdiction to prosecute him due to his status as a Native American and the crime occurring within historical boundaries of the Choctaw Nation.
After receiving the remand order from the Supreme Court, OCCA remanded the case back to Latimer County District Court for an evidentiary hearing to determine Davis’s status as a Native American, if the reservation status of the Choctaw Nation was ever disestablished, and if not, the crime occurred within the historical boundaries of the tribe.
Davis' hearing is scheduled for for 3 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Latimer County Courthouse.
The court reporter of the case will have 20 days to transmit the record of the case to the OCCA along with the judge having an additional 20 days to issue a Findings of Fact and Conclusions behind the decisions made on the remanded questions before submission to OCCA, who is expected to make a decision on if the analysis behind the Supreme Court’s decision in McGirt extends to the other Five Tribes, which includes the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
Contact Derrick James at email@example.com