State v. Ward, S-2021-376

CourtUnited States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
Writing for the CourtLEWIS, JUDGE
Citation2022 OK CR 16
PartiesTHE STATE OF OKLAHOMA, Appellant v. DALTON WAYNE WARD, Appellee
Docket NumberS-2021-376
Decision Date18 August 2022

2022 OK CR 16

THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA, Appellant
v.

DALTON WAYNE WARD, Appellee

No. S-2021-376

Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma

August 18, 2022


APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF MAYES COUNTY THE HONORABLE REBECCA GORE, ASSOC. DISTRICT JUDGE

APPEARANCES AT TRIAL

JOHN M. CROCKETT

ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT

MATTHEW J. BALLARD

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

TOM SAWYER

ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY

ATTORNEYS FOR STATE

APPEARANCES ON APPEAL

MATTHEW J. BALLARD

DISTRICT ATTORNEY

TOM SAWYER

ASST. DISTRICT ATTORNEY

ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT

JOHN M. CROCKETT

ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE

OPINION

LEWIS, JUDGE

¶1 The State of Oklahoma, Appellant, appeals from an order sustaining Appellee's motion to dismiss a charge of assault and battery on a police officer filed in the District Court of Mayes County, Case No. CF-2019-295. The trial court held an evidentiary hearing on Appellee's motion to dismiss, and, relying on McGirt v. Oklahoma, 140 S.Ct. 2452 (2020), and Hogner v. State, 2021 OK CR 4, 500 P.3d 629, concluded that Oklahoma lacked jurisdiction to prosecute this non-Indian Appellee because the deputy sheriff whom Appellee allegedly assaulted and battered during his arrest was an Indian, and the crime occurred within Indian Country, i.e., the Cherokee Reservation. See 18 U.S.C., §§ 1151-1153.

¶2 The State timely sought review of the ruling as an order quashing or setting aside the information appealable by 22 O.S.2021, section 1053(1), or a question of law reserved under 22 O.S.2021, section 1053(3). Appellee moved to dismiss the appeal, arguing the State could not appeal the trial court's order. On July 21, 2021, this Court denied Appellee's motion "without deciding whether the appeal is appropriate under Section 1053(1)," finding the order was at least appealable as a reserved question of law under section 1053(3).

¶3 We now hold as a preliminary matter that the ruling appealed was based on facts beyond the face of the information (the Indian status of the officer), and therefore was one quashing the information rather than sustaining a demurrer. See State v. Klindt, 1989 OK CR 75, ¶ 11, 782 P.2d 401, 404 (citing State v. Durham, 1976 OK CR 20, 545 P.2d 805 (overruled on other grounds in State v. Hammond, 1989 OK CR 25, ¶ 6, 775 P.2d 826, 828)) (holding State could appeal from trial court's dismissal for lack of jurisdiction in Indian Country and, depending on resolution of defendant's Indian status, proceed to...

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