Tulsa World

Man sentenced for teen’s death

- CURTIS KILLMAN Tulsa World curtis.killman@tulsaworld.com

A Tulsa man who had been adjudicate­d in juvenile court for shooting with intent to kill was sentenced Thursday to federal prison for killing a 16-year-old boy.

U.S. District Judge Gregory Frizzell signed off on a plea deal between prosecutor­s and Carl John Irons Jr. that called for the 20-year-old to serve 10 years in prison for his role in the shooting death of Jeremiah Morris, 16.

Irons had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaught­er in Indian Country.

“An illegal gun sale ended in tragedy when a 16-yearold was killed in an exchange of gunfire,” said acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Too many families have lost children to gun violence. These shootings are a waste of young lives. My thoughts are with this family as they continue to grieve the loss of this young man.”

The two were in a brief shootout on Feb. 4, 2020, outside the Meadowbroo­k Apartments, 444 S. Mingo Road, with Morris being shot in the head and torso. He died four days later.

Irons, in his written plea, admitted to shooting Morris during an “illegal firearm sale” at the complex.

Irons claimed that he shot Morris after “a conflict arose” between his group and Morris’ group.

Police at the time claimed that Irons and others met to sell a handgun and that Irons tried to steal the weapon from Morris, prompting the exchange of gunfire.

Irons was initially charged in state court with second-degree murder. That charge was dropped and the federal charge was filed after the Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling in July 2020.

That ruling overturned a life-without-parole sentence for Jimcy McGirt after finding that Congress had never disestabli­shed the Muscogee Nation’s 1860s-era reservatio­n, whose boundaries included much of Tulsa. That meant crimes involving Native Americans in much of eastern Oklahoma could not be prosecuted in state courts.

Irons’ case was moved to federal court because Morris was a member of the Cherokee Nation at the time and the crime occurred within Indian Country.

Irons agreed to the plea deal on June 9, six days after prosecutor­s reduced the charge to voluntary manslaught­er.

Morris was ordered in 2018 to serve a 10-year term in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Affairs after pleading guilty to shooting with intent to kill.

In May 2019, he was released from OJA custody and ordered to serve a five-year deferred sentence. State prosecutor­s have since filed paperwork to revoke that deferred sentence, court records show.

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