Former Oklahoma senator seeks trial delay

Former state Sen. Debbe Leftwich argues “the extensive and sensational media coverage” of former state Rep. Randy Terrill's trial will hinder her from having a fair trial.
by Nolan Clay Published: November 8, 2013
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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.

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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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