Miami, Okla. man 4 years prison, after school attack left victim quadriplegic

TULSA, Okla. — A 23–year-old Miami, Okla. man was sentenced to federal prison Friday for a 2017 attack that left the victim paralyzed from the neck down.

In February this year a federal jury found Jace C. Williams, of Miami, Okla. guilty of maiming in Indian Country and assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian Country.

In a surprise attack, Williams approached the victim from behind, then used a maneuver similar to what is commonly referred to as a “suplex”, Williams wrapped his arms around the victim’s body, lifted him backward and slammed him head-first onto the ground. While the victim was on his stomach on the ground, Williams proceeded to spat on the victim and repeatedly punch him in the back.

The victim was rushed to a Joplin, Mo. hospital suffering a C6-7 fracture-subluxation with bilateral locked facets and paralysis. As a result of the injuries inflicted by Williams, the victim is a quadriplegic.


U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Williams to 51 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Frizzell will determine restitution at an Aug. 26 hearing.

Prosecutors had argued for a ten year federal prison sentence, which is an upward departure from the federal sentencing guidelines. Prosecutors stated that both the extreme nature of Williams’ criminal conduct and the victim’s resulting physical and mental suffering warranted the departure.

“Jace Williams’ intentional, violent attack has forever changed the life of the victim in this case,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “His egregious actions are inexcusable. This type of criminal conduct cannot and will not be tolerated.”

“In a cowardly attack, Mr. Williams blindsided and paralyzed a fellow student, then remorselessly bragged about his crime,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. “We hope that today’s sentence serves as a warning for other individuals who think they can harm their fellow citizens without facing any repercussions.”

The victim and defendant attended the same technical school in Afton and knew one another prior to the incident. In the days leading up to the crime, Williams repeatedly expressed anger toward the victim because he felt the victim had interfered and ruined Williams’ chances of having a sexual encounter with two women. Williams went as far as to tell one student that he would to make sure the victim couldn’t “use his arms or legs for five months.”

On Nov. 3, 2017, a classmate drove Williams and two friends to E. 200 Rd in Afton, in order to watch an unrelated fight between two different men. After arriving, the driver remained in his truck, scrolling through his phone. Other students, including the victim, also drove to the location in order to watch the fight.

While the victim and other students assembled in a circle waiting for the fight to begin, multiple witnesses from different vantage points saw Williams suddenly attack the victim from behind.

Williams’ two friends then returned to the truck and told the driver Williams had jumped the victim and that it was bad. Soon after, Williams returned to the truck, breathing heavily, and demanded the driver take him home. The driver testified that Williams ripped off his own shirt and bragged that what he had done to the victim was “fun” and that he wanted to do it again. The driver said he feared the defendant at that point and complied.

In 2021 charges were dropped since the crime occurred within the boundaries of the Cherokee Nation reservation. Federal charges were immediately filed. The FBI and Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Richard M. Cella and Brandon A. Skates prosecuted the case.

Stay with Joplin News First on KOAM News Now as we continue to cover stories where you live. Scroll below to sign up for our JLNews1st email list so you don’t miss an article.

MORE JLNews1st:

• Garbage truck burns US-59, Elwood Junc. BIT.ly/3HXGz5x
• 2 from Joplin-area graduate MSHPatrol BIT.ly/3QJg5J4
• Mo. is first state to ban abortion BIT.ly/3brxgyp
• North Heights house fire, unattended food cooking BIT.ly/3tZiEge
• More Power Project BIT.ly/3N1itru
• Firefighter dies of injuries in Pleasanton, Kan. BIT.ly/39KmH9z
• Man missing in Grove, Okla. BIT.ly/3OtXgYo
• Joplin Fire new ladder truck ‘wet down’ ceremony BIT.ly/3HEiJLW



View this profile on Instagram


Joplin News First (@joplinnewsfirst) • Instagram photos and videos


News to Know: Oklahoma charter school founders face embezzlement charges, and MODOT & KDOT weigh in on a proposed gas holiday

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma law officers arrest three top officials in the state’s Epic Charter Schools program on multiple felony charges. On Thursday the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced the arrests of Epic Charter School founders Ben Harris and David Chaney and former Chief Financial Officer Josh Brook. They face a slew of charges including embezzlement of state funds, racketeering and conspiracy to commit a felony. The OSBI says their investigation began nearly a decade ago. Investigators claim the men were involved in a scheme that cost Oklahoma taxpayers more than 22-million dollars.

QUAPAW, Okla. – Authorities deploy a tactical team to end a police standoff in Quapaw, Oklahoma. Marshals responded to a report of shots fired in a domestic disturbance Wednesday. Authorities say they cornered a suspect in a home on Cayuga street in Quapaw. Officials say after he refused to come out, a Cherokee Nation Tactical Team used OC gas to force him from the home. Other people inside were removed safely. Authorities have not released the name of the suspect.  Find more here.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Biden proposes a ‘gas tax holiday’ which would suspend the national gas tax for three months. According to AAA, the Joplin area has the lowest average price for a gallon of gas right now in the state, at $4.44 a gallon. The gas tax holiday, would drop that by around 18 cents. Officials with MODOT say it’s too early to know if the holiday, if approved, would impact current or future projects in the state. KDOT officials say they’re not worried.  Read more about the proposed tax holiday here.

PITTSBURG, Kan. – Some 4-staters get a lesson on human trafficking in the work-place. The Crawford County Mental Health Center brought together area human resource professionals for Thursday’s seminar. The guest speaker of the meeting was Adah Hutchcraft, a spiritual care specialist, from Ascension Via Christi. The presentation stressed the importance of observable signs to look for in the workplace and stigmas the professionals should be aware of. The participants were also taught about how to approach sensitive situations involving trafficking to protect the victim and themselves. Read more about the seminar here.

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: NCAA athletes can now make a profit from their own name, image or likeness. Some have already begun using their social media following to sign deals and publish books. This morning we are asking if you think student athletes should be allowed to make money from their image? Join our KOAM Facebook discussion and cast your vote on our KOAM InstaPoll @ koamnewsnow.com/vote.


AAA: Gas prices, outlook and tips

There’s a lot of discussion around gas prices, especially as we near another holiday. But, there could be some slightly good news.

AAA is expecting gas prices to dip slightly ahead of the July 4th travel weekend. But, the company states price fluctuations are still possible as the busy Independence Day weekend gets closer.

“Drivers are seeing minor relief at the gas pump with prices dropping an average of nine cents a gallon compared to last week,” said AAA Spokesperson Nick Chabarria. “Prices could fluctuate as the busy Independence Day holiday approaches. Despite unusually high gas prices, automobile travel is expected to set a new record with 42 million Americans driving to their holiday destination. The record travel could put more pressure on demand at a time when supplies are very tight.”

AAA states crude oil prices recently declined slightly, but they’re still above $105 per barrel.

4-State Gas Price Averages (AAA) (June 23)

Missouri Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.641
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.651
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.683
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.157
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.750

Kansas Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.629
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.639
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.671
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.046
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.836

Oklahoma Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.615
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.622
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.665
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.037
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.775

Arkansas Average Regular Gas Prices

  • Current Avg. $4.489
  • Yesterday Avg. $4.500
  • Week Ago Avg. $4.536
  • Month Ago Avg. $4.115
  • Year Ago Avg. $2.768

The national average price for a gallon of regular unleaded is $4.94, which is seven cents less compared to this day last week and $1.87 more than the price per gallon at this same time last year, according to AAA Gas Prices.

Gas Tax Holiday Proposal

The Biden administration has been discussing a possible gas tax holiday.

> Read More about the Proposal: EXPLAINER: How Biden’s proposed gas tax holiday would work

As a result, the impact of gas tax holiday proposals, whether at a state or federal level, may be limited because any price reduction from the lack of taxes can be quickly offset by a steady increase in oil prices. According to AAA, in addition, if a gas tax holiday is implemented, it is unclear to what extent any savings would be passed along to the consumer or if there would be an impact to funds that are usually allocated for much needed infrastructure improvement, maintenance, and safety.

AAA Tips to save money on fuel

Bad driving isn’t just unsafe. It’s expensive. Studies have repeatedly shown that personal driving habits are the single biggest factor that affects vehicle fuel consumption. Adopting new and improved driving behaviors can contribute to significant savings at the gas pump. Here are some simple ways drivers can improve fuel efficiency:

  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Higher speeds result in more aerodynamic drag.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because a loss of vehicle control could result.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • When driving in town, adjust your speed to “time” the traffic lights. This reduces repeated braking and acceleration that consume additional fuel.
  • When approaching a red light or stop sign, take your foot off the gas early and allow your car to coast down to a slower speed until it is time to brake.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you.

Information about AAA Approved repair shops can be located at AAA.com/repair or by calling your local AAA branch.


Wyandotte Nation hosts lacrosse summer camp

OTTAWA COUNTY, Okla. – Wyandotte Nation continued its summer lacrosse camp today with students of all ages at Wyandotte High School.

During the camp, officials announced that the high school recently received an Indian Community Development Block Grant of $1,000,000.

Officials say part of the grant will be used toward developing a lacrosse field at the Wyandotte Nation Pow-Wow grounds.

The money will also help fund the construction of a paved parking lot, an additional row for vendors, and an additional restroom,.

To learn more, click here.



Northeast Oklahoma celebrates pride with 2nd annual festival


MIAMI, Okla. – The 2nd Annual Miami NEOK Pride festival returned to Riverview Park Pavillion this year with plenty of activities and entertainment.

The event features live music from local bands and drag performances.

Fun for the family includes:

  • Bounce houses
  • Obstacle courses
  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Dunk tank
  • Waterslides
  • Photo booths & more

Festival-goers also had the chance to sign up for the ‘Best Dressed’ contest to win $100.

To learn more about upcoming pride events this month click here.


More Power tower project exclusive interview

KOAM’s General Manager Brook Arnold sat down with Tawnya Bach during the KOAM Morning News On Fox 14 to talk about the More Power tower project.

> You can find updates on the More Power project here!

KOAM is replacing its old transmission tower antennas and many people have had some questions about the transition. Brook addressed many of the concerns and questions people have had, from the reasons behind the new tower to digital transmission and on-air signals.

She also addressed details about the transition process and what a viewer will need to make sure they receive a clean KOAM signal when the time comes.


News to Know: Drowning victim identified, and Oklahoma lawmakers fail to reach a tax cut deal

JOPLIN, Mo. – Authorities in Joplin release the identity of the man who drowned in Grand Falls this week. The man is identified as 35-year-old Standley Luke of Carterville, Missouri. Authorities say on Tuesday Luke tried to go over the falls with a pool toy, hit a rock and drowned. Search crews from several local departments had been looking for Luke since he went missing. They found his body shortly after 6:00 pm Wednesday. Read previous updates on this story here.

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – The Oklahoma House and Senate fail to reach a deal on a tax cut package that Governor Kevin Stitt was urging them to pass. On Thursday, the house adjourned a special session after passing an array of tax cut options, but senate leaders dismissed the proposals as “political theater”. Senate President Pro Tempore Greg Treat said he would assemble a working group to consider a more methodical approach to tax cuts. Republican Governor Stitt called the legislature into a special session to consider cutting the state’s sales tax on groceries and reduce the individual income tax rate.

TOPEKA, Kan. – Republican Attorney General candidate Kris Kobach endorses lowering the Kansas legal drinking age to 18. He promises that if he’s elected this year, he’ll challenge the federal policy preventing the move. Kobach criticized a 1980’s federal law that threatens states with the loss of highway dollars if their drinking ages are below 21. He says he believes the U.S. Supreme Court would now overturn that law. Kobach said if 18-year olds can go to war, they should have all the rights other citizens enjoy.

FORT SCOTT, Kan. – Some inmates at the Bourbon County, Kansas jail are being moved. Officials say there just aren’t enough jail employees to properly staff it. The jail needs a minimum of 12 staff members, but come Monday they will be down to eight. The inmates are being moved to other facilities in southeast Kansas. The HVAC system at the jail has also been out for several days. Work to fix it began this week and is expected to finish the coming days. Read more about the staffing issues here.

SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT: Paramount Plus releases a new movie this weekend called “Jerry and Marge Go Large.” Bryan Cranston plays “Jerry Selbee,” a man who discovers a mathematical loophole while playing the lottery. The real life Selbees grossed more than $26 Million from playing the lottery! This morning we are asking… do you play the lottery? Join our KOAM Facebook discussion and weigh in on our KOAM InstaPoll @ koamnewsnow.com


Escaped inmate re-captured after ‘walking away’ from Oklahoma jail

LABETTE COUNTY, Kan. – Kansas police today captured a Northeast Oklahoma inmate after deputies say he “walked away from the facility” on June 10th.

The Labette County Sheriff’s Office’s dispatch says they received a call of a man walking near 8000 and Prat, just southeast of Altamont.

The police report says the man matched the description of Kyle Baker Carter Ornder, an inmate who escaped the jail on June 10th.

At 10:00 a.m. today, officers took Ornder into custody in a pasture near his reported location.  The Kansas Highway Patrol assisted with the arrest.


Police say a body found in Grand Lake may be related to missing person case

DISNEY, Okla. – The Grand River Dam Authority say they may have recovered the body of a missing man in Grand Lake.

Around 8:00 p.m. on June 11, GRDA Police Officers received a call from boaters who said they spotted a body in the water.

Officers arrived soon after about a mile north of Pensacola Dam along Langley Bluff.

Police say the male’s clothing matched the description of Troy Young (48, Bixby). Young was last seen leaving Cedar Port Marina at around 10:30 p.m. in a 24-foot Yellowfin on May 28.

Authorities say the official identification of the body will come from the Oklahoma Medical Examiner. No other details are available at this time.

Related article


Summer Shopping Bash kicks off in Miami

MIAMI, Okla. – Shoppers and vendors alike gathered in Miami Oklahoma for the city’s 2022 Summer Shopping Bash.

Residents in Miami and surrounding areas soaked up the warm weather while some vendors distributed goods.

Items for sale included:

  • Custom clothing
  • Jewelry
  • Homemade Trinkets
  • Candles & Fragrances

For those interested in becoming vendors in the future, click here.