Former Ada resident sentenced for killing inmate

May 4—A former Ada resident, who has a history of assaulting people while incarcerated, was recently sentenced to serve more than 20 years in federal prison for killing a fellow inmate.

Kenneth Leon Thomas Jr., 35, was sentenced to 270 months in prison for second-degree murder in Indian Country.

Thomas pleaded guilty to the charge in April 2023. As part of a plea agreement, Thomas could have been sentenced to any number of years up to life in prison.

The charge arose from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Oklahoma reports that, according to investigators, on May 31, 2022, during a dispute over switching cells at the Davis Correctional Facility in Holdenville (since renamed the Allen Gamble Correctional Center), Thomas had an altercation with a fellow inmate and stabbed the inmate three times, killing him.

The crime occurred in Hughes County, within the boundaries of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Reservation, in the Eastern District of Oklahoma.

In 2014, Thomas was charged in Pontotoc County District Court with two felonies — assault and battery on a detention officer and possession of a firearm after a former felony conviction.

After pleading no contest, he was sentenced to serve time in prison. While incarcerated at the Lawton Correctional Facility, he assaulted a correctional officer in December 2015, to which he later pleaded guilty.

At the time of the prison murder in Hughes County, Thomas was serving eight years for the assault on the correctional officer at the Lawton Correctional Facility.

Keith Starrett, U.S. district judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, sitting by assignment, presided over the hearing in Muskogee.

Thomas will remain in custody of the U.S. Marshal pending transportation to a designated United States Bureau of Prisons facility to serve a non-paroleable sentence of incarceration.

Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Howanitz represented the United States.