A man indicted for fatally shooting another man in 2019 is scheduled to be formally sentenced after accepting a plea agreement last year.

Tyas Joseph Short, 22, pleaded guilty in the Eastern District of Oklahoma to second degree murder in Indian Country for the shooting death of 21-year-old Lane Crawley, of McAlester, following an April 7, 2019, altercation on Krebs Lake Road, just north of Krebs.

According to the plea deal, Short will serve up to 14 years in the custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons followed by a five-year period of supervised release with no fines.

“The defendant admits that he shot Crawley willfully, deliberately, and with malice aforethought, and that he did not act in self-defense or defense of others,” the plea agreement states.

Short will be formally sentenced by U.S. District Judge Charles Goodwin at the federal courthouse in Oklahoma City on June 5.

According to federal court documents, Short was originally indicted with second degree murder in Indian country, causing the death of a person in the course of a violation of title 18 U.S.C. § 924©, and use, carry, brandish, and discharge of a firearm during and in relation to a crime.

As part of the plea deal, government prosecutors agreed to dismiss counts two and three and only proceed in the prosecution of the second-degree murder indictment.

According to court records, Short was with a friend, who was a minor, on April 7, 2019, at a residence in Krebs Lake Road when Crawley drove by and stopped the vehicle he was driving.

Crawley got out of the vehicle and began to confront the minor and initiated a physical confrontation, hitting the minor several times, court document state.

A passenger in Crawley’s vehicle told him to return to the truck and when Crawley was walking back to the truck, that is when Short “fired several gunshots” at Crawley, striking him in the back, arm, and the back of his head, court documents state.

During a preliminary hearing held in the state’s case against Crawley, the medical examiner’s report showed Crawley was shot five times, with three being in the back, which state prosecutors contended showed malice aforethought.

Short’s defense attorneys argued that the report showed Crawley was shot more in the side of his body and claimed Short shot Crawley because he was “defending his friend” and was concerned for his own safety.

The plea agreement states that if the case went to trial, the United States could prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Short committed the crime.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

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