Murder conviction for strangulation of Pontotoc County woman overturned because of Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling

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PONTOTOC COUNTY, Okla. (KFOR) – The U.S. Supreme Court’s McGirt ruling has caused another Oklahoma murder conviction to be tossed out.

The McGirt ruling is the Supreme Court’s decision that a large portion of Oklahoma remains Indian territory and is therefore subject to tribal and federal ruling rather than state.

Cindy Allen, a disabled 55-year-old Pontotoc County resident, was found strangled inside her burning home in Byng, Okla., in 2016. Her home was located on land within the historic reservation of the Chickasaw Nation.

Charles Michael Cooper, a Chickasaw Nation member, was convicted and sentenced to life without parole.

Charles Cooper

That conviction has been overturned because of the McGirt ruling, making it the sixth murder conviction to be overturned so far.

Cherokee Nation officials announced earlier this week they filed charges in 440 criminal cases based on overturned convictions.

The Choctaw Nation has filed 125 charges.

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