A Brown County murder case has been moved to federal court.
A 32-year-old Kickapoo Reservation resident — Stryder Keo — was arrested on Sunday, July 17 in connection with a shooting death of William Blacksmith, age 35 of Whiting, that had occurred earlier that morning.
Brown County Sheriff John Merchant reported that dispatch received a report at 7:20 a.m. of a possible shooting on the Kickapoo Reservation near the vicinity of 1300 Firefly. Sheriff Merchant said multiple law enforcement agencies responded and one fatality confirmed — upon arrival, Blacksmith, was unresponsive in the yard near that address with multiple gunshot wounds.
Keo was arrested a short time later without incident at his home on the reservation.
Brown County Attorney Kevin Hill said a two-count complaint charging Keo with one count of Murder in the First Degree and one count of Aggravated Battery was filed in the District Court of Brown County July 18 in connection with the shooting — also involving another victim that sustained injury. Hill said that count two involves another individual who was struck by one of the shots allegedly fired by Keo.
Keo was set to appear in Brown County District Court for a preliminary hearing Sept. 28, but Hill said that the case has been turned over to federal authorities.
“Since the alleged offense was committed within the recognized boundaries of the Kickapoo Reservation, concurrent jurisdiction existed with the State of Kansas and the Federal Authorities for the alleged offenses,” Hill said. “We had requested at the outset for the Federal Authorities to exercise jurisdiction over the case since it fit within their jurisdiction and would benefit from the additional resources that exist at the federal level.”
Hill said it was after phone conferences with the US Attorney’s Office and the FBI, that they agreed to present the case to a Federal Grand Jury which culminated in an indictment being issued last week.
“Brown County appreciates the efforts of Duston Slinkard, US Attorney for the District of Kansas, his staff, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for their work with local law enforcement in seeking justice in this matter,” Hill said.
Stryder Keo was initially incarcerated in Brown County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond, but has been transferred into federal custody as he awaits hearings in federal court. Hill said Jared Maag will be prosecuting the case.