U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Oklahoma
(918) 684-5100
June 19, 2015

Idabel Man Found Guilty of Murder During Perpetration of Child Abuse of 2-Year-Old

MUSKOGEE, OK—The United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced that DAKOTA LANE WILLISTON, age 20, of Idabel, Oklahoma was convicted by a federal jury for the charge of Murder in the First Degree in Indian Country Committed During the Perpetration of Child Abuse, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1111, 1151 and 1153, punishable by imprisonment for life and/or up to $250,000.00 fine.

After seven days of trial, the jury deliberated approximately three and one-half hours and found beyond a reasonable doubt that on about July 23, 2013, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Indian country, DAKOTA LANE WILLISTON, an Indian, did unlawfully kill Payton Cockrell, a 2 year old female human being, during the perpetration of child abuse, as defined by Title 18, United States Code, Section 1111(c)(3), against Payton Cockrell.

The charges are a result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, the McCurtain County Sheriff’s Office and the Choctaw Nation Tribal Police.

The Honorable Ronald A. White, District Judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, in Muskogee, presided over the trial. The defendant was remanded into the custody of the United States Marshal Service pending sentencing.

Assistant United States Attorneys Dean Burris and Linda Epperley represented the United States.

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