Osage County DA to seek new charges in Holt case

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

Osage County District Attorney Rex Duncan is continuing to push for local prosecution of two Pawhuska brothers in last year’s slaying of local oilman/rancher Rick Holt.

Tuesday, Duncan said he plans to file amended informations against 31-year-old Jeremy Keith Reece and his 19-year-old half brother, Tyler Wayne Reece.

Duncan said his office will seek a two-count state charge against the brothers — who have previously had two Osage County charges (first-degree murder and desecrtion of a human corpse) dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. State charges of kidnapping and felony conspiracy are still pending against the Reeces.

According to Duncan, one count of the amended information will allege felony murder with an underlying charge of first-degree burglary.

“We contend that Mr. Holt was shot at least one time while still on his property and that the gunshot constitutes a mortal wound,” the DA said.

The second count of the new filing against the brothers is for first-degree burlary and offers assault and battery as an underlying felony.

Duncan indicated the filing would be made before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, when the Reeces are due in court for motions’ hearings on two other previously-filed Osage County charges, of kidnapping and conspiracy. The defense motions ask that bonds be set for the brothers on the state’s two remaining charges.

“It needs to be filed before the hearing on Wednesday,” Duncan said, who added that doing so would “prevent a hearing on the kidnapping charge.”

The Wednesday hearing is scheduled before Osage County Special Judge Stuart Tate. In March, it was Tate who called for dismissal of the state’s murder and desecration charges against the Reeces. Tate ruled that the Osage County murder charge indicated the victim had been killed at at a remote Osage County location — approximately 10 miles from Holt ‘s residence — where his body was later found.

Since that location is considered Indian land, and the Reece brothers are both registered members of the Muscogee Creek Nation, jurisdiction over the murder case belongs in federal court, according to the ruling by Tate. Mayes County District Judge Terry McBride sustained Tate’s ruling on the jurisdictional challenge. In April, McBride affirmed dismissal of the two state charges. He said he could find no case law to support the state’s contention that Osage County and the federal government should have concurrent jurisdiction in the case. McBride ruled that the Indian Major Crimes Act would appear to give exclusive federal jurisdiction over the matter.

The brothers are accused of kidnapping the 46-year-old Holt from his rural home five miles south of Pawhuska and later burying the victim’s burned and bullet-riddled body on a remote oil-lease site approximately 10 milessouthwest of from Holt ‘s residence.

Duncan said he is still considering whether or not to seek the death penalty against Jeremy and Tyler Reese. The DA added that the investigation of the case is ongoing.