Tuesday, April 18, 2023 - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma announced that Joseph Allen Hernandez, age 34, of Marble City, was sentenced for his role in two homicides. Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison for two counts of Murder in Indian Country, and 20 years imprisonment for one count of Arson in Indian Country.
A jury found Hernandez guilty in November 2021 of the murders of his mother and grandmother. During the trial, the United States presented evidence that Hernandez doused both victims in accelerant and set them on fire at their home in Marble City.
The guilty verdicts were the result of an investigation by the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "The crimes committed by Hernandez were horrific, and there is no question the sentencing is just,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. “We hope the life sentence handed down today brings a sense of closure and healing for the family of his victims. The FBI is proud to have worked alongside our partners at the Sequoyah County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this investigation."
“The sentencing of Joseph Hernandez to life imprisonment ensures he will be held accountable for the heinous act he committed upon members of his own family and never again step outside the confines of a federal penitentiary to victimize others,” said United States Attorney Christopher J. Wilson.
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 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 hearing. Upon sentencing, Hernandez was remanded to the custody of the United States Marshal. Assistant United States Attorney Jarrod Leaman represented the United States.
KXMX Staff Writer
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