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Bribery trial for former Oklahoma state representative begins Monday

Ex-Oklahoma lawmaker Randy Terrill faces up to two years in prison if convicted.
by Nolan Clay Modified: October 20, 2013 at 10:00 pm •  Published: October 20, 2013

The witness list for former state Rep. Randy Terrill's upcoming political bribery trial reads like a who's who directory for Oklahoma politics.

Jury selection in the 2010 case begins Monday morning in Oklahoma County District Court. The trial is expected to last one to two weeks.

Former Gov. Brad Henry and more than a dozen current and former state lawmakers are listed as witnesses for the prosecution.

The former legislators include state Treasurer Ken Miller, who served in the state House, former House Speaker Chris Benge and former state Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee.

Henry, a Democrat, is expected to testify Wednesday. It will be the second time in two years he has testified at a former politician's trial. Henry was called as a defense witness at former state Senate leader Mike Morgan's 2012 federal bribery trial.

Henry, an attorney, told The Oklahoman he would much rather not do it but understands why he is being called.

“If I were in the prosecutor's position in this case, I would probably call me, too,” he said.

Also on the prosecution witness list are Darrell Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control; Marilyn Hughes, the former executive director of the Ethics Commission; and Chad Alexander, a lobbyist and political consultant.

Prosecutors told the judge Friday they plan to call 15 to 20 witnesses. Defense attorney Chris Eulberg said he plans to call “a handful” of witnesses.

Terrill, 44, of Moore, is charged with a felony — offering a bribe to a candidate to withdraw. He is expected to testify in his own defense. If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine.

Prosecutors allege Terrill, a Republican, in 2010 offered then-Sen. Debbe Leftwich, a Democrat, a new $80,000-a-year state job not to run for re-election.

Leftwich, now 62, also is charged with a felony — soliciting and/or accepting the bribe to withdraw. She is scheduled for her own jury trial in December.

They were both charged by District Attorney David Prater after an investigation by his office.

Prosecutors allege Terrill had language creating Leftwich's job inserted into a bill to reform the medical examiner's office. The new position was to be a transition coordinator.

Prosecutors contend Terrill was trying to help his Republican friend, state Rep. Mike Christian, who was planning to run for the Senate seat.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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