An Oklahoma County District Court jury has acquitted a former state auditor and a convicted murderer of conspiring to steal nearly $10,000 from the state's unclaimed property fund.
Jurors deliberated about three hours Thursday before finding LaTisha Raye Reid and David Duane Edinburgh not guilty of conspiracy to defraud the state.
Reid, 43, of Oklahoma City, was accused of stealing $30,000 from the $350 million unclaimed property fund in 2010 and 2011 while she worked as an internal auditor for the state treasurer's office.
State prosecutors alleged Reid used relatives and friends in her scheme, including her aunt and Edinburgh, the aunt's boyfriend.
Three of five defendants in the case pleaded guilty and received deferred sentences.
“While we disagree with the verdict, we wholly respect the judicial process and the sacrifice and service of jurors,” said Diane Clay, spokeswoman for the state attorney general's
Reid was charged in four different cases, including one with Edinburgh as a co-defendant.
She pleaded guilty to 23 of 24 charges against her earlier this month, but disputed the conspiracy charge. She is expected to be sentenced on the other counts in June.
Edinburgh, 60, of Choctaw, was acquitted of all five charges against him, including violation of the computer crimes act, forgery and obtaining money by false pretenses.
Reid testified this week that she took Edinburgh's driver's license and Social Security card without his knowledge and used them to create bogus documents in order to file a claim with the state fund.
She told jurors he cashed a state-issued check for $9,901.99 after she assured him it was a legitimate check for unclaimed property.
Edinburgh was convicted of fatally shooting his stepfather in 1990 and spent nearly 18 years in prison. He was paroled in 2009 and had been in jail since he was indicted in September.
He was released Thursday night, his attorney said.
“The U.S. legal system continues to be the greatest in the world at protecting the wrongly accused,” said Craig Hoehns, Edinburgh's attorney. “This case has shown that system continues to work as Mr. Edinburgh, an innocent man, was sent home a free man.”