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Gene Stipe won’t be tried, for now

BY TONY THORNTON Modified: October 29, 2008 at 5:39 am •  Published: October 29, 2008
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MUSKOGEE — A probation revocation case for Gene Stipe is on indefinite hold, as is a new criminal indictment, after a federal judge ruled Tuesday that the former state senator remains mentally incompetent to stand trial.

It was the second time U.S. District Judge Ronald White found Stipe is unable to assist his attorneys.

As with last year’s ruling, White based his decision mainly on a report and testimony by the prosecution’s key witness, a neuropsychologist who examined Stipe during a recent four-month stay at a Missouri prison hospital.

Dr. Robert Denney testified that Stipe has improved in some areas and regressed in others. Overall, Denney said, Stipe is still incompetent, largely because of dementia caused by excessive fluid on the brain.

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

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To watch analysis of the hearing, go to NewsOK.com and look for the circle-n.

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