Man sentenced for attempted murder at Buffalo National River

Date: October 8, 2015
Contact: Investigative Services Branch, (202) 379-4761

Buffalo Point at Buffalo National River
The carved wooden sign at Buffalo Point, Buffalo National River.

NPS Photo

Man serving nearly two decades in federal prison for attempted murder at Buffalo National River

Just over a year after shooting his wife multiple times in Buffalo Point Campground, John Prickett, Jr has been sentenced to serve 18 years in federal prison. Prickett's wife survived the attack and was able to speak at the sentencing hearing in US District Court in October.

The investigation of the September, 2014 shooting was led by two ISB Special Agents. Upon receiving the initial call of shots fired in the campground, US Park Rangers at Buffalo National River responded to the scene and found Prickett covered in blood and attempting to load his seriously injured wife into the back of his truck. The rangers took Prickett into custody and began giving emergency medical care to the victim.

Investigators found that Prickett had shot his wife as many as 14 times at point-blank range with a .40 semi-automatic handgun. The couple had argued over failing finances and Prickett's insobriety before he shot his wife as she lay inside their tent.

A federal grand jury indicted Prickett in November of 2014 on charges of assault with the intent to commit murder and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence. He pleaded guilty to both counts. In addition to serving prison time, Prickett was ordered to pay over $262,000 in restitution and fines.

Several agencies were involved in bringing Prickett to justice. Marion County Sheriff's Office deputies responded with US Park Rangers to the scene, and special agents with the Investigative Services Branch worked closely with rangers of Buffalo National River and Wilson's Creek National Battlefield during the investigation. Assistant US Attorney David Ferguson prosecuted the case for the government, and the judge who handed down Prickett's sentence commended the rangers for their life-saving actions at the scene of the shooting.

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Last updated: December 1, 2015