February 28, 2024

A member of the (Muscogee) Creek Nation whose homicide conviction was overturned amid a jurisdictional dispute has been formally resentenced in the case.

In Muskogee federal court this month, Nacole Ryan Bain, 42, also known as Nacole Ryan Spears, of Schulter, was sentenced to 27 years in prison for second-degree murder in Indian Country.

Bain previously pleaded guilty in Okmulgee County District Court to first-degree murder in the fatal June 24, 2018, shooting of Addison Waddell, a 56-year-old Okmulgee County horse trainer.

Why the case ultimately led to a resentencing

Bain was serving a life sentence when her conviction was overturned in April 2021 following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the McGirt case, which found Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction for crimes committed on tribal reservations and in which the accused and their victims are tribal citizens.

In the landmark decision, the high court ruled the Muscogee (Creek) reservation was never disestablished.

In a 5-4 decision last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Oklahoma can resume prosecuting some crimes involving Native Americans on the state’s eight tribal reservations.

Meanwhile, numerous overturned cases have been retried in federal court.

More: Oklahoma reclaims some criminal jurisdiction on reservations after Supreme Court ruling

State prison officials told The Oklahoman that Bain has been in federal custody since her original murder conviction was overturned.

On March 28, 2022, Bain agreed to plead guilty in federal district court to second-degree murder in Indian Country.

Investigators said relatives of Waddell reported him missing in late July 2018 after he failed to arrive as expected at his destination in North Carolina.

Investigators discovered Waddell’s wrecked and empty vehicle in south Okmulgee County. They confirmed the separate discovery of Waddell’s remains on July 6, 2018.

Prosecutors said Bain, a five-time convicted felon, confessed to shooting Waddell with a revolver at his Henryetta home, then removing his remains to a rural property, selling his personal property and keeping the proceeds.

U.S. District Judge John F. Heil III presided over the sentencing hearing, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Gross was the prosecutor.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Oklahoma woman resentenced for murder in Indian country after dispute

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