FAIRVIEW — A judge Monday dismissed a perjury charge against an Enid attorney.
The felony case against attorney Eric Nathan Edwards had attracted widespread attention after another judge sealed it from public view.
Edwards, 44, was accused in the perjury charge of threatening another attorney during a divorce hearing in February and of later lying about what he said.
Edwards represented the wife in the divorce proceedings in Majors County District Court.
The case ended up with a new judge and a new prosecutor in part because of the controversy.
Grady County District Judge Richard Van Dyck dismissed the charge Monday at the request of Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater.
Prater reported to the judge that he found no merit to prosecuting the charge.
He reported he made the decision after reviewing the facts and circumstances surrounding it. He said a dismissal was in the best interest of justice.
Edwards' attorney, Stephen Jones, said, “The dismissal ... vindicates my client against whom this meritless and oppressive action was directed.”
The judge who sealed the case from public view said last month he acted to protect the defendant's professional career.
Woods County District Judge Ray Dean Linder said an assistant district attorney filed the charge without even informing Hollis Thorp, the district attorney over Major County. The judge questioned the assistant prosecutor's motivations for filing the charge.
“In this instance, fairness required there be more investigation before the matter was publicized. That's the basis upon which I did it,” Linder said of sealing the case.
His action was widely criticized in the media and renewed public attention to the issue of secrecy in the courts.
“If it's not preferential treatment, it sure looks like it,” Mark Thomas, executive vice president of the Oklahoma Press Association, said last month.