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Judge defends release of woman

Jim Young Published: October 26, 1982

The Court of Criminal Appeals followed the law when it ordered the slayer of an Oklahoma City airport policeman released on bond, Judge Tom Brett said today.

Brett answered a political mailing made by Leo Kingston, Republican candidate for Oklahoma City's Senate District 44, which urges voters to cast a "no" vote against Brett.

Brett's name will appear on a retention ballot Tuesday. Voters will decide if he shall be retained for another six-year term.

Kingston mailed a sample ballot marking Brett's name and saying he ordered Rita Silk Nauni freed on bond.

"He also sent out a postcard saying I was soft on crime," Brett said.

"We followed the law passed by the Legislature that once the trial court has set bail and it was posted she was entitled to bail," Brett said.

"The trial court could have denied bail, but it didn't," Brett said.

The Nauni case went to the appeals court after the woman was convicted of first-degree manslaughter in the death of the policeman and the wounding of another airport officer in September 1979. District Judge Joe Cannon set bail at $100,000.

The bail was posted by two church groups and Cannon then attempted to set it aside. The appeals court held Cannon was bound by the bond he set.

Later, bond underwriters withdrew and the woman went to prison.

Of Kingston's attack, Brett said, "He doesn't understand the law as it applied to the facts."

As to being soft on crime, Brett said, "He just hasn't considered the entire record. We have only reversed about 10 percent of the cases we've heard." BIOG: NAME:

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