MCALESTER, Okla. — A trial for an Oklahoma man who’s facing a first-degree murder charge in the 2015 drowning death of his daughter has been delayed until early next year.

Devin Sizemore’s trial was scheduled to begin in November at the Pittsburg County Courthouse in McAlester, according to court records.

The continuance comes as attorneys make legal arguments as to whether the child’s death occurred on Native American land and whether the defendant should be tried by the federal government instead of the state, the McAlester News-Capital reported.

Officers who responded to the scene and testified at a preliminary hearing said Sizemore was standing in the middle of the pond in Krebs when they arrived on July 15, 2015. They said the toddler was floating face-down about 20 yards from the 22-year-old.

Officer Jack Suter also testified that Sizemore lunged at him before he was cuffed.

After the preliminary hearing, a District 18 judge ordered Sizemore bound over for district court trial arraignment on the murder charge and bound over for trial on a second felony count of assault and battery in Suter.

Defense attorney Matthew Sheets filed court documents that said both Sizemore and his daughter were members of the Choctaw Nation. He argued that Pittsburg County is part of the Choctaw Nation and that the case should therefore be tried in federal court.

District 18 District Attorney Chuck Sullivan said Sizemore should be tried in state court.

A gag order barring the defense and prosecution from commenting on the case has been issued.

An evidentiary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 14 and pre-trial motions are expected on Dec. 20. The trial is now set to begin Jan. 8.


Information from: McAlester News-Capital, http://www.mcalesternews.com