OKLAHOMA CITY – TOMMY DEAN BULLCOMING, 56, of Hammon, Oklahoma, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Charles B. Goodwin to serve life in federal prison for the first-degree felony murder in Indian Country and related offenses, announced U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing. In addition, Bullcoming was ordered to pay $17,613 in restitution for damage to the victim’s home and vehicle as well as funeral expenses.
A five-count indictment unsealed on April 6, 2018, charged Bullcoming with crimes he committed on September 6, 2017: first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder, carjacking resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death, and arson. The indictment stated he “used force, violence, and intimidation to intentionally take a Lexus RX300” from an Indian and that this resulted in death. It further alleged he killed the victim “by stabbing and cutting her with a sharp object.” The arson count alleged he maliciously set fire to the victim’s dwelling in Hammon.
Beginning on November 12, 2019, a jury heard evidence that Bullcoming beat the victim, his ex-girlfriend, in her home and then bound her mouth and wrists with duct tape. Evidence at trial showed that, using her vehicle, he drove her to a field in Indian Country and made her walk approximately 50 yards away from the road, where he stabbed her 48 times and slit her throat. Evidence also showed that he then drove her vehicle back to her home, which he set on fire. Volunteer firefighters from Hammon noticed fresh blood in the residence, and a Special Agent with the Bureau of Indian Affairs found fresh blood on the headrest of the vehicle. Both blood samples matched the victim, while blood on the vehicle’s dashboard matched Bullcoming.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs arrested Bullcoming in El Reno on September 8, 2017, for failing to appear before the Tribal District Court for the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Concho on September 7 on a charge of trafficking in controlled dangerous substances. Evidence at trial showed that he had scrapes and cuts on his arms, hands, and legs, as well as blood on his belt and sandals. DNA analysis confirmed the blood on his sandals belonged to the victim. On December 5, 2017, Bullcoming pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. He was sentenced in that case on April 18, 2018, to ten months in prison.
During the early evening of November 21, a jury found Bullcoming guilty of first-degree felony murder, carjacking resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death, and arson of a dwelling. It was unable to reach a verdict on first-degree premeditated murder. The verdict was returned on what would have been the victim’s birthday.
Citing Bullcoming’s three prior convictions for violent crimes against women, Judge Goodwin sentenced Bullcoming to life imprisonment for first-degree felony murder, 25 years imprisonment for carjacking resulting in death, life imprisonment for kidnapping resulting in death, and 25 years imprisonment for arson. There is no parole in the federal prison system.
This case is in federal court because Bullcoming is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, the offenses occurred in Indian Country under the jurisdiction of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, and the vehicle used in the carjacking had travelled in interstate commerce. The victim was also a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services; the Federal Bureau of Investigation Oklahoma City Field Office; the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the United States Secret Service; the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation; the Oklahoma Highway Patrol; the Roger Mills County Sheriff’s Office; the Custer County Sheriff’s Office; the United States Marshals Service; and the Hammon Fire Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark R. Stoneman and Arvo Q. Mikkanen are prosecuting the case, which furthers the Department of Justice’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Initiative. For more information, go to https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-william-p-barr-launches-national-strategy-address-missing-and-murdered.
Reference is made to court filings for further information. To download a photo of U.S. Attorney Downing, click here.