Choctaw man sentenced for role in violent beating death of fellow tribe member

Published 7:12 am Saturday, May 25, 2019

Choctaw man sentenced to 11 years in prison for his part in the beating death of another Choctaw tribe member.

Keyshawn Willis, 23, of Conehatta, Mississippi, was sentenced last week by Chief United States District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III to 132 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for voluntary manslaughter, announced U.S. Attorney Mike Hurst and Special Agent in Charge Christopher Freeze with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Willis was also ordered to pay a $1500 fine.

Willis entered a guilty plea before Judge Jordan on July 6, 2018 to one count of voluntary manslaughter for his role in the death of a Choctaw man. On November 2, 2017, four members of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians assaulted and killed another Tribal member in the Tucker Community.

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Willis’ co-defendants, Jerome Steve and Keenan Martin each pleaded guilty to second degree murder and were sentenced in March 2019. They both received a prison sentence of 45 years followed by five years of supervised release. A fourth defendant, Monte Isaac, died while awaiting sentencing.

The group was charged with beating to death Demetrius Sam. Police said Sam was beaten to death with fists, a metal pipe, a shovel and a post-hole digger. His body was later doused with lighter fluid and burned.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy Criminal Chief Patrick Lemon, Assistant United States Attorney Erin Chalk and Special Assistant United States Attorney Kevin Payne. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Choctaw Police Department