December 2nd, 2019
By News Director Jared Atha
A federal jury has convicted 55 year old Tommy Dean Bullcoming, of Hammon, of first-degree felony murder in Indian Country and related offenses, announced U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, Timothy J. Downing,
A five-count indictment unsealed in April 2018, charged Bullcoming with crimes he committed on September 6th, 2017. Those charges included first-degree premeditated murder, first-degree felony murder, carjacking resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death, and arson. The indictment stated he “used force, violence, and intimidation to intentionally take a Lexus RX300” from an Indian and that this resulted in her death. It further alleged he killed the victim “by stabbing and cutting her with a sharp object.” The arson count alleged he set fire to the victim’s dwelling in Hammon. The case is in federal court because Bullcoming is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, because the offenses occurred in Indian Country, and because the vehicle used in the carjacking had traveled in interstate commerce. The victim, Linda Zotigh, is a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes, as well.
Beginning on November 12th, a jury heard evidence that Bullcoming beat Zotigh, his ex-girlfriend, in her home and then bound her mouth and wrists with duct tape. Using her vehicle, he drove her to a field in Indian Country and made her walk approximately 50 yards away from the road, where he stabbed her 48 times and slit her throat. He then drove her vehicle back to her home, which he set on fire. Volunteer firefighters from Hammon noticed fresh blood in the residence, and a Special Agent with the Bureau of Indian Affairs found fresh blood on the headrest of the vehicle. Both blood samples matched the victim, while blood on the vehicle’s dashboard matched Bullcoming.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs arrested Bullcoming in El Reno on September 8th, 2017, for failing to appear before the Tribal District Court for the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes in Concho on a charge of trafficking in controlled dangerous substances. He had scrapes and cuts on his arms, hands, and legs, as well as blood on his belt and sandals. DNA analysis confirmed the blood on his sandals belonged to the victim. On December 5th, 2017, Bullcoming pleaded guilty in federal court to possessing marijuana with intent to distribute. He was sentenced in that case on April 18, 2018, to ten months in prison.
On November 21st, a jury found Bullcoming guilty of first-degree felony murder, carjacking resulting in death, kidnapping resulting in death, and arson of a dwelling. However, it was unable to reach a verdict on first-degree premeditated murder.
At sentencing, Bullcoming faces mandatory life in prison for felony murder, carjacking, and kidnapping. The maximum punishment for arson would be 25 years in prison and five years of supervised release. He could also be fined up to $250,000 on each count and be required to pay restitution. There is no parole in the federal justice system. Sentencing will take place in approximately 90 days.