Two Oklahoma County assistant district attorneys were fired last week because of their alleged actions during a recent murder trial, District Attorney David Prater said Wednesday.
Pam Kimbrough and Stephanie Miller were terminated April 5 after Prater learned they withheld a witness statement from defense attorneys representing Billy H. Thompson that was favorable to Thompson's case.
Thompson was convicted of first-degree murder March 15.
Prater has forwarded
“Though I am heartbroken over their loss to this office, my decision to terminate them was an easy decision to make,” Prater said in a written statement. “The gravity of their alleged ethical violation is so great that only one punishment equals their transgression.”
Kimbrough was a veteran prosecutor who was team leader of the county's domestic violence division. She was hired by Prater when he was elected to office.
“I'm not comfortable making a comment as long as there is a pending bar investigation or attorney general's office investigation,” Kimbrough said Wednesday.
Attempts to reach Miller were unsuccessful.
Oklahoma County District Judge Donald L. Deason presided over Thompson's trial. In a letter to jurors last week, he apologized for the actions of the two prosecutors and said that he will approve a request for a new trial.
Motion for new trial
Oklahoma County Public Defender Robert Ravitz said he could file a motion for a new trial as early as Tuesday. Thompson was represented by public defenders at his trial.
Ravitz applauded Prater's decision to fire Kimbrough and Miller.
“This demonstrates the total integrity of Mr. Prater and his willingness to do whatever is necessary to see that ethics prevail within the district attorney's office,” Ravitz said. “This firing should not be taken as a black mark on his office, but should demonstrate that he will not tolerate unethical behavior.”
In a statement, Prater said he contacted the public defender's office as soon as he learned of the alleged conduct. “To ensure the integrity of our investigation into the alleged ethical violations of the ADAs, I invited Mr. Ravitz to jointly investigate the allegations. He accepted.”
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