Former Oklahoma Senator Gene Stipe found incompetent

By TONY THORNTON Modified: October 28, 2008 at 4:07 pm •  Published: October 28, 2008
MUSKOGEE -- Former state Sen. Gene Stipe today was again found to be incompetent to face a probation revocation hearing.

U.S. District Judge Ronald White made the ruling after hearing testimony.

Stipe, 82, is on probation for two felony convictions involving illegal contributions to the 1998 congressional of Walt Roberts. Prosecutors claim he violated probation by associating with another convicted felon and by orchestrating another campaign fraud case in 2004.

Stipe was housed for four months recently at a prison hospital in Springfield, Mo. It was his second stay there.

In November 2007, White deemed Stipe incompetent to face the probation revocation case. His decision was based largely on testimony and a written report from Dr. Robert Denney, a prison neuropsychologist who examined Stipe over 11 days.

Denney testified today that Stipe is still not competent, even though he has improved in some areas and regressed in others. He also said the dementia caused by excessive fluid on Stipe's brain is progressive and he's not optimistic that the condition will improve.

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