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Marble City man found guilty of two counts of murder and one count of arson

Joseph Allen Hernandez

Friday, November 19, 2021 - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced today that Joseph Allen Hernandez, age 34, of Marble City, Oklahoma was found guilty by a federal jury of two counts of Murder in Indian Country and one count of Arson in Indian Country.

The jury trial began with testimony on Tuesday, November 16, 2021, and concluded on Friday, November 19, 2021, with a verdict of guilty on all three criminal counts. Based on the jury’s verdicts, the defendant is facing up to life in prison.

During the trial, the United States presented evidence that on June 5, 2019, the defendant murdered his mother, Audrey Hernandez, 62, and his grandmother, Francis Wright, 79, by covering both victims with accelerant and setting them on fire. Wright was wheelchair-bound. The incident occurred in a trailer house in Marble City.

Witnesses testified both victims told emergency responders that the defendant poured gasoline on them and set them on fire.

Hernandez had been released from prison one week prior to the incident on an assault and battery with a dangerous or deadly weapon conviction.

The guilty verdicts were the result of an investigation by the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma prosecuted the case because the defendant is a member of a federally-recognized Indian tribe and the crimes occurred in Sequoyah County, within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation Reservation, and within the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

The Honorable Charles B. Goodwin, U.S. District Judge in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, presided over the trial and ordered the completion of a presentence report. Sentencing will be scheduled following completion of the report.

Hernandez was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorney Michael Warren and Assistant United States Attorney Jarrod Leaman represented the United States.

KXMX News Staff

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