Two more cases are waiting in the wings

  • Waiting in the wings

LAWTON – Two other Native Americans convicted in Comanche County of major crimes have submitted McGirt-related claims to the courts.

• Charles Benjamin Kills­ first, 51, was convicted in Comanche County in 2018 of first- degree burglary after former conviction of a felony, outraging public decency, and misdemeanor assault and battery.

District Judge Emmit Tayloe sentenced Killsfirst to 30 years in prison on the burglary conviction, with half of it suspended, along with a $1,000 fine plus court costs and assessments; one year suspended on the morals charge, along with a $500 fine plus court costs and assessments; and 90 days suspended plus a $500 fine, court costs and assessments, for the assault.

State Corrections Department records show Killsfirst served eight years of a 15-year sentence for a 2003 conviction of assault and battery with a dangerous weapon in Cotton County. Corrections records also indicate he served three prison terms for convictions in Comanche County of driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance: in 1992, 1996 and 1998-2001.

Killsfirst raised a McGirt defense in September, asserting that he is an Indian and his crime was committed on Indian land. The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals rejected that argument because Killsfirst didn’t present it to the district court in his application for post-conviction relief.

However, on October 14 the Court of Criminal Appeals did grant his request for “an appeal out of time” because of his claim that he “attempted on numerous occasions to contact trial counsel to initiate an appeal, but those attempts went unanswered.”

• Kenneth Lee Camp, 39, pleaded guilty in Comanche County District Court last year to a felony charge of committing aggravated assault and battery at the GEO correctional center at Lawton in 2017. Judge Tayloe imposed a seven-year prison sentence, to be tacked onto a five-year sentence Camp received in Atoka County on a 2015 guilty plea of possessing contraband while incarcerated at the Mack Alford Correctional Center.

Camp pleaded guilty in Okmulgee County in 2010 to possession of a controlled dangerous substance and of drug paraphernalia; admitted in 2014 he was in possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony; and pleaded guilty in 2015 to misdemeannor destruction of evidence and of bringing contraband into a place where prisoners are kept, a felony.

Camp was convicted of robbery in Adair County in 2003; he was sentenced to two years in prison and three years suspended and was ordered to pay $1,470 in restitution. In 2005 he was convicted in Adair County of aggravated assault and battery on a police officer and was sentenced to three years in prison.

Camp has produced a document showing that he has a one-quarter Creek Indian blood quantum. Consequently, his attorney filed motions in November to have his convictions in Comanche, Atoka, Adair and Okmulgee counties set aside because Camp is a Native American who was convicted in state courts that “lack subject-matter jurisdiction.”