A federal judge is letting Teddy Mitchell keep his lead defense attorney even though the attorney's father will be a prosecution witness.
Mitchell is accused in an 81-count indictment of hosting illegal high-stakes poker games at his Oklahoma City home and of illegally taking bets on sporting events. Investigators contend he personally made millions of dollars from the operation.
Mitchell is represented by Scott Adams, a well-known Oklahoma City attorney.
U.S. District Judge David Russell ruled Thursday that Adams can remain on the case. The judge ruled after talking to Mitchell at length about the potential problems that could come up at trial.
“I've hired him. I'd like to stick with him,” Mitchell, 57, told the judge at the hearing in Oklahoma City federal court.
Mitchell also told the judge his attorney's father, Richard Adams, is a friend who will tell the truth “and do what he has to do.”
Prosecutors last Friday notified the judge of the potential conflict. They asked the judge to consider disqualifying Scott Adams from the case.
Prosecutors told the judge in their notice that Richard Adams was a frequent participant in the high-stakes poker games at Mitchell's house. They also told the judge he placed bets with Mitchell on sporting events and has known Mitchell as a “bookie” for about 25 years.
Prosecutors questioned how Scott Adams could cross-examine his father. They suggested the problem remains even if another defense attorney handles the questioning.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley Altshuler said at the hearing Thursday that the testimony from Richard Adams will destroy Mitchell's defense.