The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the court system to push court cases back several weeks, if not months. This includes the postponement of the sentencing hearing for a man who has been convicted of murdering Pawhuska oilman Rick Holt.
On April 29th, Northern District Judge with the State of Oklahoma, John Dowdell issued a minute order, which postponed the sentencing hearing for Jeremy Reece, which was scheduled for Wednesday, May 6th.
The Osage News says the delay is due to a general order issued in March by the Northern District of Oklahoma judge’s. The order is aimed at minimizing the risk of spreading the coronavirus during criminal trials and hearings.
In early February, Jeremy Reece entered a guilty plea in connection with Holt’s murder, which occurred in September 2015. According to court documents, Reece admitted to Judge Dowdell that he took Holt from his home, shot him three times on restricted Osage land, dug a shallow grave for the body and set the body on fire. Jeremy Reece and his brother Tyler have been in custody for over four years in relation to Holt’s death.
The Reece brothers are citizens of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Because Holt’s body was found on Osage land, jurisdictional issues arose as to whom should try the case.
Jeremy Reece remains in U.S. Marshal Service custody as they attempt to reschedule the sentencing date. Tyler Reece remains in state custody and will appear in Osage County District Court on Friday, June 19th.