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A Tulsa man pleaded guilty today to involuntary manslaughter in Indian Country after killing Barry James Harrell during a brief altercation in downtown Tulsa, announced U.S. Attorney Trent Shores.

At his plea hearing, Harlan Frank Hardiman, 51, admitted that on Sept. 3, 2020, he punched Harrell in the head at the downtown Tulsa Transit bus terminal located at 319 S. Denver Ave. As a result of the punch, the victim fell and hit his head on the concrete sidewalk.  The defendant stated that he walked away from the victim as he lay motionless on the ground. Harrell subsequently died of a massive head bleed, called a subdural hematoma.

“Harlan Hardiman acted recklessly when he punched Mr. Harrell then walked away while the victim lay unresponsive on the sidewalk. Sadly, Mr. Harrel lay there 15 minutes before aid was rendered and died the following morning,” said U.S. Attorney Trent Shores. “Hardiman has now been held accountable for his actions, and a federal judge will sentence him at a hearing on Feb. 26, 2021.

The FBI and Tulsa Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin Fletcher is prosecuting the case. AUSA Fletcher is a prosecutor from the Northern District of Iowa. He volunteered to assist prosecution efforts here in the Northern District of Oklahoma due to the increased volume of cases since the Supreme Court’s ruling which stated the Creek Nation Reservation had never been officially disestablished by Congress. The United States and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation have jurisdiction of all cases that occur on the reservation involving Native American victims or defendants.

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