The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City
Sep. 2—A 20-year-old Lincoln County woman was sentenced this week to more than 21 years in federal prison for second-degree murder in connection with a house fire in Indian Country.
FBI investigators said Desma Valdez admitted she set the fire at a trailer home near Harrah that killed her sister and sister’s boyfriend on Dec. 28, 2019.
The victims were identified as Daisica Nashawn Rice, 20, and Tyler Kaulaity, 22.
Valdez told the FBI she and her sister were at her grandmother’s house without permission and were drinking alcohol.
She said she and her sister’s boyfriend fought, and she confronted her sister about it before they all went to sleep.
Valdez said she woke up, started drinking vodka and began getting angry, according to an FBI affidavit. Valdez said she eventually cut her arm, poured gasoline on the bottom of the mattress where the victims were sleeping and screamed at them to get up.
She said she was threatening to kill herself and told them “you can both go down with me,” the FBI reported.
She said the fire began when Rice grabbed her and she dropped a lighter.
When police arrived, Valdez was on the front porch and told an officer, “I did it. I did it,” according to the affidavit.
Authorities charged Valdez in Oklahoma City federal court because the fire was on Indian trust land and she is a member of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma.
On Jan. 21, 2020, a federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment charging Valdez with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of second-degree murder, arson, and using fire and explosives to commit a felony.
On March 10, Valdez pleaded guilty to the two counts of second-degree murder.
On Monday, U.S. District Judge Bernard M. Jones sentenced Valdez to serve 262 months in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release.
Valdez has been in federal custody since her arrest on Jan. 1, 2020.
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