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Pauls Valley mom explains her family’s impact from McGirt ruling

Updated: May. 9, 2021 at 7:06 PM CDT
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PAULS VALLEY, Okla. (KXII) - A Pauls Valley man is seeking the McGirt ruling after he pleaded guilty to manslaughter of a pregnant woman, in a 2013 head-on car crash.

“He hit her head-on. She didn’t have a chance to swerve, get out his way or nothing,” said Victoria Pando, mother to 21-year-old Tonja Pand who died of her injuries she sustained during the car accident.

Pando said her daughter’s death feels like it happened yesterday. Her youngest daughter, Tonja was on her way to the grocery store to buy food and baby milk when 32-year-old Matthew Imotichey smashed his car head on into hers in 2013.

She was pregnant at the time of the crash.

Police said surveillance tapes, a blood test and a search of his led investigators to believe he was intoxicated.

“Imotichey comes out of the Walmart parking lot, high from inhaling air that you spray on computers,” said Pando.

Imotichey pleaded guilty to manslaughter and was given 30 years in the North Fork Correctional Center in Sayre, Okla.

Pando is now raising her two daughters, 9-year-old Vivian and 8-year-old Livvy Pando.

“He killed their mother, or I’ll put it this way, he was the cause of my daughter’s death,” said Pando.

Due to Imotichey being a recognized Chickasaw citizen, he is seeking to have his case overturned in the 2020 McGirt Supreme Court Ruling.

It states that Oklahoma District Attorneys can’t prosecute crimes committed on reservations by tribal members or tribal citizens. If his conviction is overturned, then he could be retried in federal court.

“Whatever race you are if you do a crime, it should be done like anything else,” said Pando.

Garvin County Sheriff Jim Mullett said Imotichey is expected to be given a hearing date this week.

“Things gotta change, the hatred has got to lose because that’s not what we’re here for,” said Pando.

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