Former state Sen. Debbe Leftwich is asking a judge to delay her bribery trial at least four months.
The jury trial is set to begin Dec. 9.
Her attorneys argue she cannot get a fair trial in December because of “the extensive and sensational media coverage” of the conviction of her co-defendant, former state Rep. Randy Terrill.
“Terrill was accused … (of) giving the bribe and Leftwich is accused of receiving it. Thus, the finding that Terrill was guilty will be unduly persuasive to the next jury,” her attorneys wrote in a motion filed Wednesday. “The photos of … Terrill in handcuffs and in jail overalls are so sensational and memorable, it will be impossible for a juror to put those images out of his/her mind only five weeks from now.”
Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong will hear the request Wednesday. Prosecutors will oppose a delay.
Jurors Oct. 29 found Terrill guilty of a felony — offering a bribe to a candidate to withdraw.
Jurors agreed Terrill, a Republican, offered Leftwich, a Democrat, an $80,000-a-year state job at the medical examiner's office in 2010. Prosecutors alleged Terrill bribed her to induce her not to run for re-election to her Senate seat that year.
Jurors chose a punishment of one year in prison and a $5,000 fine.
He spent the night in jail after being found guilty. The judge the next day ordered him released on a $10,000 bond while he appeals. It was at that hearing Oct. 30 that Terrill appeared in orange jail clothes and handcuffs.
Leftwich, 62, of Oklahoma City, is charged with soliciting and/or accepting a bribe to withdraw. She has pleaded not guilty. She faces up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine if convicted of the felony charge.
The formal sentencing for Terrill is set for Dec. 6. Terrill, 44, lives in Moore.
Leftwich's attorneys argued Wednesday in their motion that the formal sentencing will bring “yet another round of pretrial publicity.”