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Judge rules lawmaker, ex-senator will not face conspiracy charge at trial

Prosecutors say they will appeal a judge's decision to deny their request to add conspiracy charge against a lawmaker and ex-senator facing bribery charges.
BY NOLAN CLAY Modified: December 5, 2011 at 7:05 pm •  Published: December 5, 2011

A judge ruled Monday state Rep. Randy Terrill and former Sen. Debbe Leftwich will not have to face a conspiracy count at their bribery trial.

Prosecutors said afterward they will appeal.

Terrill, 42, of Moore, is charged with offering a bribe to a candidate to withdraw. Leftwich, 60, of Oklahoma City, is charged with soliciting and/or accepting a bribe to withdraw.

Prosecutors at the preliminary hearing last month sought to add the conspiracy count to the existing felony case. Oklahoma County Special Judge Stephen Alcorn refused to allow it.

Monday, District Judge Ray C. Elliott upheld the preliminary hearing judge's decision. The next — and final — step for prosecutors is an appeal to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals.

Elliott said prosecutors were prohibited from adding the conspiracy count because of a well-established legal principle.

He also said prosecutors had insufficient evidence of a conspiracy.

Prosecutors allege Terrill, a Republican, offered Leftwich, a Democrat, an $80,000-a-year state job to not run for re-election.

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