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Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Clinton J. Johnson, United States Attorney
For Immediate Release
Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Two Men Sentenced for Setting Inmate on Fire in Ottawa County Jail

TULSA, Okla. – This week, U.S. District Judge Gregory K. Frizzell sentenced Justin Randall Gering, 30, of Fairland, and Tyler Levi Tavis, 23, of Miami for Arson of Property of an Institution and Organization Receiving Federal Financial Assistance. Judge Frizzell ordered both men to serve 60 months of imprisonment, followed by 1 year of supervised release.

According to court records, in Dec. 2022 Tavis and Gering were in Ottawa County Jail. They were caught on video surveillance wrapping a sleeping inmate in toilet paper and setting it on fire. The sleeping inmate was covered by a county issued fire-retardant blanket, which kept him from being severely burned. Other inmates at the jail responded quickly to put the fire out, keeping it from spreading further within the jail.

Gering and Tavis will remain in custody pending transfer to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney George Jiang prosecuted the case.

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