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Pritchett receives five-year sentence for 2021 murder

A Tahlequah man was sentenced to federal prison for the 2021 shooting death of an 18-year-old.

Kiah John Pritchett, 39, was sentenced to 63 months for one count of involuntary manslaughter and 63 months for one count of felon in possession of a firearm. The terms will run concurrently.

On July 5, 2021, deputies with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office spotted a "suspicious trail' near 14896 W. 810 Road and discovered a charred Chevy Tahoe. A burned body was found inside the vehicle and authorities conducted several interviews with people who last saw the 18-year-old the night he disappeared.

Braeden Collins, of Pryor, was reported missing July 4, 2021 when he failed to show up at the Log Store after he reportedly crashed his vehicle near South 490 Road and West 813 Road.

According to Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent Lucas Keck, the Medical Examiner’s Office identified the body as Collins through DNA comparison and it was determined that he was shot in the back of the head. A Remington .22 caliber, that had been fused to the bottom of the vehicle, was found by the wrecker driver who towed the Tahoe.

A witness told authorities that he was outside Pritchett’s residence around 3:30 a.m., July 4, 2023 when he heard what sounded like a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed and crashing.

Collins reportedly got a ride from Pritchett after the crash and was supposed to be dropped off at the Log Store. Pritchett returned to the residence hours later.

That same witness was interviewed Sept. 30, 2021 and said Pritchett, a convicted felon, admitted to killing Collins “on accident and that the gun accidentally went off.” Another witness said Pritchett threw a bag that contained two firearms out of vehicle window July 3, 2021, but they went back later in the day and retrieved the bag.

That witness told authorities that Pritchett admitted to shooting Collins and other witnesses said Pritchett was in possession of a firearm.

Investigators were able to track down the VIN number to the Tahoe and discovered it had been sold to Pritchett. Pritchett was named as a person of interest and then a suspect early on in the investigation. He was arrested July 6, 2021 in Muskogee County for a separate weapons offence.

The ATF took over the homicide investigation since the case involved tribal members and Cherokee Nation Marshal deputies and ATF agents arrested Pritchett Oct. 9, 2022. He was booked in the Mayes County jail for tribal charges of first-degree murder.

In April 2023, a federal grand jury in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma indicted Pritchett on charges of felon in possession of a firearm.

A preliminary hearing was slated for April 20, 2023 in federal court and Pritchett remanded to custody of the U.S. Marshal pending the proceedings. A jury trial was set for June 6, 2023 before it was passed to Sept. 6, 2023.

On July 18, 2023, Pritchett provided notice of his intent to plead guilty and a hearing is set for Aug. 15, 2023 before Magistrate Judge Gerald L. Jackson.

According to the information report, Pritchett pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and felon in possession of a firearm pursuant to a plea agreement.

ATF Dallas Field Division Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Boshek II said, “Our agents worked countless hours in the pursuit of justice for the victim and his family," said ATF Dallas Field Division Special Agent Jeffrey Boshek II. "ATF is committed to combatting violent crime in our communities no matter how long it takes. There is no amount of time in federal prison that will bring the victim back. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family as we know Pritchett’s time in federal prison won’t ease their pain.”


Honorable Judge Ronald A. White presided over the hearing and Pritchett will remain in custody of the U.S. Marshal pending transportation to a designated United States Bureau of Prisons facility. Assistant United States Attorneys Jarrod Leaman and Patrick Flanigan prosecuted the case.


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