Man accused in April 2019 shooting in federal custody

Tyas Short

A McAlester man accused of fatally shooting another man during an April 2019 confrontation near Krebs is now in federal custody.

Tyas Joseph Short, 20, is charged in the Eastern District of Oklahoma with murder in Indian country and use, carry, brandish, and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime, according to federal court documents.

Short is accused of fatally shooting 21-year-old Lane Crawley, of McAlester, following an April 7 altercation on Krebs Lake Road, just north of Krebs.

The federal complaint against Short was filed April 19 with short being taken into federal custody on April 23 in Lincoln County.

Court documents show a motion to dismiss the case based on the state of Oklahoma’s lack of criminal jurisdiction was stricken by District 18 District Judge Mike Hogan due to “lack of proof of Native American Citizenship" on April 21.

Attorneys for Short filed a copy of Short’s Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood and a letter from the Chickasaw Nation verifying Short as a citizen of the tribe.

During Short’s state preliminary hearing held in August 2019, attorneys for Short argued their client shot Crawley because he was “defending his friend” and was concerned for his own safety.

A report prepared by the Oklahoma Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled Crawley’s death as a homicide with the autopsy report noting four gunshot wounds with two in the back, one to the arm, and one to the head.

An FBI agent who prepared the federal complaint against Short states the location of the gunshot wounds “indicated a back to front trajectory.”

According to the original affidavit, a witness to the shooting told investigators said she was traveling with Crawley in a vehicle on Krebs Lake Road when a man waved the vehicle down.

According to the report, the witness said Crawley got out of the vehicle and started to fight the man and that she yelled for Crawley to get back in the vehicle.

Before Crawley could get into the vehicle, she heard gunshots and saw that Crawley was shot, the report states.

Another witness told investigators that Crawley stopped the vehicle in the middle of the road, got out, approached the juvenile and began punching him, according to the report.

Crawley then stopped hitting the juvenile and ran back to the vehicle before the witness said he saw Short shoot Crawley “multiple times,” the affidavit states.

According to the federal complaint filed in the case, the juvenile told investigators after he and Short got into a vehicle and left, Short said “Bro, I think I killed him” before making plans to exchange vehicles and to “get rid of the gun.”

Court records show prior to his April 23 arrest, Short was free on bond since April 2019 after placing a $250,000 bond through a bondswoman.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

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