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  • Writer's pictureDennis McCaslin

Oklahoma Statewide News: Serial strangler sentenced to nine years in prison for 2021 attack

A Tulsa man who assaulted and strangled his victim was sentenced yesterday to nine years for assault resulting in serious bodily injury in Indian country, according to U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

U.S. District Judge George K. Frizzell sentenced Vernon Jenedia Neel, 44, a Muscogee citizen, to nine years in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.

“Vernon Neel has a history of domestic abuse by strangulation,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “The strength of the victim and dedication of our law enforcement partners resulted in a sentence that confines a clear threat from our community.”

Today in Fort Smith first reported on the case in early July of 2021.

During the early morning hours of July 3, 2021, the defendant assaulted the victim by striking her repeatedly with his fists and strangling her. The victim sustained serious injuries including a broken nose, a severed lip requiring stitches, a concussion and multiple bruises and abrasions. Neel ran off with her phone and car keys.

Neel has multiple felony convictions for domestic violence involving strangulation. According to court documents, at his first trial one of Neel’s previous victims testified that Neel told her that he enjoyed strangling her because “he liked to watch the fear and the fade in my eyes.” He had also previously violated a protective order.

Neel will remain in custody of the U.S. Marshal Service pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.

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