A federal judge on Tuesday allowed Teddy Mitchell out of jail, even though prosecutors alleged he has hundreds of thousands of dollars hidden away from his illegal gambling operation and may flee.
Oklahoma City U.S. Magistrate Judge Shon T. Erwin agreed Mitchell, 57, can be on home detention while awaiting trial in an illegal gambling case. Prosecutors had wanted him to remain in custody.
His movements will be tracked by an ankle monitor or some other device.
“This is a close one,” the judge said of his decision.
The judge required Mitchell's older sister, Debra O'Toole, to sign a $500,000 bond. The judge explained Mitchell did not have to put up any money to secure the bond, but his sister “will be on the hook for it” if he flees.
A federal grand jury indicted Teddy Mitchell, two of his sons, his best friend and five other men last week. They are accused of involvement in an illegal gambling operation that had at least $8.1 million in proceeds. The grand jury also indicted a Costa Rican company.
FBI agents arrested Mitchell on Friday. He had been held in the Grady County jail. He pleaded not guilty Monday.
The other defendants were released earlier.
Mitchell lives with his mother and his 3-year-old daughter, London, in Oklahoma City, his sister said.
His wife, Julie Mitchell, 34, was brutally beaten to death in their northwest Oklahoma City home on Nov. 2, 2010. The homicide remains unsolved. Mitchell stopped living there after the death.
The judge ordered Mitchell to surrender his passport, told him not to drink any alcohol and said he cannot gamble.
The judge also ordered Mitchell not to have any contact with witnesses or the other defendants.
The judge specifically stressed the restriction includes his indicted sons Dryden Mitchell, 32, and Nick Mitchell, 22.
The federal grand jury alleged in the 81-count indictment that Teddy Mitchell both hosted illegal poker games at his home and illegally took bets from across the country on sporting events.
Grand jurors alleged he eventually sent his clients to a sports betting Internet site run by the Costa Rican company, Gortation Management.
At a detention hearing Tuesday, a special agent for the Internal Revenue Service revealed that a confidential informant in 2007 secretly videotaped poker games at Teddy Mitchell's house.
“We have numerous hours of videotapes of the poker games,” IRS Special Agent Terri Battershell testified.