TULSA, Okla. (KFOR) – A defendant was sentenced Tuesday for the 2017 murder of a man in Claremore.
According to the United States Department of Justice, Michael Eugene Spears, 59, of Claremore, was sentenced to 300 months in prison for murdering a man with a machete in 2017.
Spears has been sentenced for the second degree murder of victim Mark McKinney. After his prison sentence, Spears is required to spend five years on supervised release.
“The defendant’s murderous act and attempted cover-up earned him a 25-year federal prison sentence,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “The dedicated work of the Claremore Police Department, FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Tom Duncombe and Justin Bish have ensured justice for the victim and his family. I am proud of their resolve to hold accountable those who commit brutal acts of violence in our communities.”
Officials say the murder happened after an argument developed between the two men on November 18, 2017. After the murder took place, Spears told a relative about the crime and asked to borrow a truck to transport the victim’s body to lake in order to dispose of it. A relative reported the murder to police the next day and the victim’s body was recovered.
According to the Dept. of Justice, the defense argued for a 15 year sentence, claiming that Spears’ years of alcoholism, his difficult childhood, his problems with judgement and impulse control and evidence of cognitive decline showed a lower sentence was suitable.
Prosecutors pointed out that Spears’ issues with impulse control and judgment were reasons why they believe he would continue to be a threat to the public. Spears was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
“Today’s sentencing brings to an end a tragic story of cold-blooded murder and an attempted cover-up by a merciless and violent criminal,” said FBI Oklahoma City Special Agent in Charge Edward J. Gray. “Thanks to a determined investigation by the FBI, Claremore Police Department, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Oklahoma, Spears will be held accountable for his heinous crime.”