A federal grand jury has become involved in the gambling inquiry of Teddy Mitchell, the Oklahoma City man whose wife was beaten to death in November, The Oklahoman has learned.
Mitchell denies involvement in illegal gambling, his attorney, Scott Adams, said Tuesday.
“He's going through a very tragic time, dealing with the loss of his wife. He's trying to cope with that,” the attorney said.
Julie Mitchell, 34, died Nov. 2 from multiple blunt force trauma to her head, an autopsy report shows. The homicide case remains unsolved.
In April, an FBI agent and an Internal Revenue Service investigator attempted to question at least two of Teddy Mitchell's friends about gambling, attorneys said.
Adams and other attorneys said potential witnesses who know Teddy Mitchell have been subpoenaed to testify this week before the grand jury.
“I'm aware of some people who were subpoenaed,” Adams said. “They called me. They wanted to know if I would represent them. I told them I couldn't because I represented Teddy.”
Adams said his client has not been subpoenaed and has not received a target letter from federal prosecutors.
“He doesn't feel like he's done anything illegal or wrong and, hopefully, we'll get through this.”
Issue raised earlier
Police have said Teddy Mitchell, 56, ran a bookmaking operation where gamblers placed bets on sporting events. “It's common knowledge now that he was involved in bookmaking and things like that,” Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty told KWTV-9 in November.
An ex-wife raised the gambling issue during a child custody dispute. She said in September 1999 a son should stay in her custody because of Teddy Mitchell's “lifestyle and livelihood.”
Then, in court papers in December 1999, she asked him to list “how many bets on sporting events that you or your business take in” during a year. He refused to answer, invoking the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.