10/19/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 10/19/2021 17:44
A federal jury today convicted a Tulsa man who assaulted and attempted to kidnap his wife then called her from jail trying to convince her to lie to authorities about the incident, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
Derek Lee Lovell, 37, was found guilty of attempted kidnapping in Indian Country; assault with intent to commit a felony; and attempting to influence, delay, and prevent testimony through corrupt persuasion.
"There is no excuse for domestic violence, and this office will hold perpetrators accountable for their abuse. Mr. Lovell is no exception," said Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. "Three witnesses observed Lovell assault his spouse and took action. They are to be commended for intervening and preventing a kidnapping."
On Jan. 28, 2021, the Tulsa Police Department responded to a Burger King near 1100 S. Harvard Ave. and 3242 E. 11th Street. Callers provided information that a man was assaulting a woman near the establishment. Callers further reported the man had a knife and fled in a silver Chrysler sedan.
Responding officers made contact with the female victim who stated that she had fled from her spouse as he chased her down the sidewalk. He eventually pinned her against a nearby concrete wall then attempted to drag her back to a vehicle. Officers observed the victim was visibly shaken. She was also concerned about cooperating with officers due to fear of reprisal.
During the assault, a driver pulled over and attempted to help the victim. Lovell then pulled out a pocketknife, approached the vehicle, stabbed the front right tire and shouted an expletive. Two other witnesses, along with camera footage, corroborated the driver's statement to officers. The witnesses were also able to describe Lovell's vehicle and license plate.
On Jan. 29, 2021, Tulsa Police officers executed a traffic stop on Lovell's vehicle while on South Lewis Avenue and took the defendant into custody.
Lovell is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation, and the crime was committed within the Muscogee Nation reservation.
Following closing statements, the jury deliberated four hours then returned guilty verdicts on all counts. Lovell's trial lasted two days.
The FBI and Tulsa Police Department are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Julie A. Childress and Edward Snow are prosecuting the case.