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Tahlequah man sentenced to federal prison for 2019 murder

A local man was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison for a 2019 manslaughter case that he initially claimed was self-defense.


Cherokee County Sheriff’s deputies responded to North 569 Road Sept. 8, 2019 for reports of a shooting.


Deputies found an unresponsive Timothy Ragsdale lying near the doorway of a trailer.


According to reports, Ragsdale was shot by James A. Mounce and witnesses on scene stated Mounce was there picking up a woman who was reportedly assaulted by Ragsdale.


The woman who was reportedly assaulted by Ragsdale told deputies Ragsdale stated he was going to kill her.


Sheriff Jason Chennault, who was undersheriff at the time, and agents with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation were called to the scene.


Mounce told authorities that both of his arms were broken and he feared for his life.


The man was arrested and booked into the Cherokee County Detention Center on charges of possession of a firearm after former conviction of a felony.


Mounce, a Cherokee Nation tribal member, was charged with first-degree murder once District 27 District Attorney Jack Thorp received the final report of the shooting.


The case was dismissed in April 2021 due to lack of subject matter jurisdiction amid the Oklahoma v. McGirt ruling.


The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma issued an arrest warrant on Mounce in June 2021 and he was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshal Service.


Jury trials were scheduled and reset several times before Mounce pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

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