Federal Jury Convicts Man of Assaulting his Stepson with a Machete

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

A federal jury convicted a Bristow man of a May 21, 2022, machete attack on his adult stepson, which ultimately led to the loss of the victim’s right eye, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Millard Ray Laskey, 52, was found guilty Wednesday of Assault with a Dangerous Weapon with Intent to do Bodily Harm in Indian Country.

“Millard Laskey’s antagonistic behavior and harassment of the victim eventually led to a vicious attack ending with the loss of the victim’s eye,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “I would like to thank the jury for fulfilling their civic duty this week in federal court and for holding Mr. Laskey accountable for his violent acts.”

Laskey’s relationship with his stepson had deteriorated through the years. The victim moved out to distance himself from Laskey, but he eventually moved into a family member’s apartment in Bristow—the same town where Laskey lived.  Tensions between the two flared when Laskey made visits to the apartment.

Leading up to the assault, the defendant committed a series of antagonistic actions against his stepson. The victim had been sleeping on a couch with a pull-out mattress in the apartment. First, Laskey removed the couch from the apartment and placed it in his pickup truck so the victim would have nowhere to sleep. The victim responded by pulling the mattress from the couch and returning it to the apartment to sleep on it.

Then, in the early morning of May 21, 2022, Laskey woke the victim by pouring a hot sauce mixture in the victim’s eyes then threw water on him before driving away. In response, the victim punctured the defendant’s tire when Laskey returned to the neighborhood later that day.

When Laskey discovered the flat tire, he stormed into the apartment with a 12-inch machete. Laskey then seized a wireless Bluetooth speaker from the living room, located the victim in the bathroom, opened the bathroom door, and hurled the speaker at the victim’s face, striking him. The victim grabbed improvised metal knuckles in one hand in an attempt to defend himself when Laskey struck the victim multiple times with the machete. One blow struck the victim’s arm, cutting to the bone. A second blow struck the victim’s right eye and the bridge of his nose.

Soon after, first responders arrived. The victim was transported by ambulance to a hospital for care, where it was determined that he had suffered a globe rupture of the right eye. Despite efforts by a surgeon to save the eye, it was ultimately amputated.

In closing statements, the defense argued the Bluetooth speaker had not been hurled at the defendant and that the Laskey was only trying to defend himself with the machete in the bathroom because the victim confronted him with the improvised metal knuckles.

Federal prosecutors called the ongoing dispute and attack tragic and unnecessary. They reminded the Court that a family member recognized that Laskey was erratic the day of the incident and asked him to leave, knowing the argument had dramatically escalated. Prosecutors stated that the defendant, a kickboxer trainer who outweighed the victim by 90 pounds, was the aggressor—that he was armed with the machete when he cornered the victim in the bathroom, hurled the Bluetooth at him, and violently chopped the victim in the arm and face. Ultimately, they stated, Laskey took an eye for a tire.

The FBI, Bristow Police Department, and Muscogee Nation Lighthorse Tribal Police Department conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys George Jiang and Ryan H. Heatherman are prosecuting the case.