Ada murder case won’t be prosecuted, DA’s office says
ADA, Okla. (KXII) - The state of Oklahoma has dropped its murder case against a man charged in the 2019 beating death of an Ada man due to the McGirt Supreme Court ruling. Both the murder victim and the man accused of killing him are native.
Unlike other recent cases, the state has learned neither the federal courts nor the tribal courts plan to pick up the case.
Pontotoc County Assistant District Attorney Tara Portillo said she was disappointed when an OSBI agent told her the federal courts wouldn’t pick up the case because there’s not enough evidence. She and Pontotoc County sheriff John Christian disagree with that.
“There was blood spatter all over the residence,” Christian said. “It appeared that Mr. Taylor had been beaten severely.”
A deputy’s report states Jerry Taylor was found beaten to death on his kitchen floor. His body was naked, his home was ransacked and blood was everywhere.
“The crime scene of course collected samples for DNA testing,” Christian said.
Months later, the lab results came in and showed that much of that blood was Taylor’s and mixed in with it was the blood of Ada resident Dalton Vivier.
According to a deputy’s report, Vivier went back and forth on his story about what happened in an interview. First he said he never knew the man and hadn’t been inside the home; later he claimed he was there but didn’t know anything about what happened.
The state was ready to prosecute Vivier, but he filed for dismissal under the McGirt ruling and it has since been dropped.
“I can’t understand the mentality, the thought process that goes into this,” Christian said. “The determination that the evidence isn’t there when you have DNA and the suspect saying ‘I was there I just didn’t partake.’”
Federal prosecutors would not say if they plan to pick up the case as they have others affected by McGirt, but told OSBI there wasn’t enough evidence.
Portillo told KXII she received an email from the tribal court stating they would not be picking up the case either.
Vivier was not released though. He had a felony warrant in another state.
“Driving under the influence is very dangerous and apparently they take the law serious in Nebraska,” Christian said.
Vivier was extradited to Nebraska on Thursday to start his DUI court proceedings there.
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