Sizemore

KEVIN HARVISON | Staff photo

Devin Sizemore, accompanied by a sheriff's deputy, is shown entering the Pittsburg County Courthouse in this file photo. Associate District Judge Tim Mills sentenced Sizemore on Wednesday, Oct. 31, to serve life in prison without parole in the 2016 death of Sizemore's 21-month-old daughter, Emily Sizemore.

Federal prosecutors charged a Krebs man this week for the 2016 death of his 21-month-old daughter due to his Native American status and federal law.

Devin Sizemore, 26, was charged Monday with murder in Indian country in anticipation of the Wednesday dismissal of his state first-degree murder charge.

The first-degree murder charge, along with a felony assault on a police officer charge, were ordered to be dismissed following a 20-day mandate issued April 1 by the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

The 20-day mandate was in place to give federal prosecutors time to charge Sizemore.

The appeals court ordered the dismissal in the case against Sizemore after ruling the U.S. Supreme Court's analysis in McGirt v. Oklahoma applied to the Choctaw Nation.

All five appeals court judges concurred in the decision, stating they were bound by the July 2020 McGirt decision that found the reservation status of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation was never disestablished and the criminal jurisdiction of Native Americans fell under the federal Major and General Crimes Act.

A Pittsburg County jury convicted Sizemore in September 2018 of first-degree murder in the 2016 death of Emily. Investigators testified during the five-day trial that they found the child floating in a pond in rural Krebs, pulled her from the water and tried to save her life.

According to an affidavit filed in the case, Sizemore told investigators he put his daughter in a pond to “baptize her, because of all the evil in the world” and that he held her head under the water for “maybe 30 seconds.”

Sizemore claimed to investigators that “something went wrong” but he was able to bring his daughter back to life after performing CPR on her.

Courtroom testimony stated around the same time, other law enforcement officers struggled with Sizemore, who was standing in the pond water not far from his daughter when they arrived at the site in the early-morning darkness.

Records show Sizemore is currently in the custody of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections at the Lawton Correctional Faculty, a medium security private prison located near Lawton, Oklahoma.

A motion ordering the pickup and transfer of Sizemore into federal custody was also approved Monday.

Contact Derrick James at djames@mcalesternews.com

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