A jury of seven men and five women will begin hearing testimony Tuesday in the political bribery trial for former state Rep. Randy Terrill.
The jurors were selected Monday during daylong questioning that focused heavily on their feelings about politicians. Two alternates also were selected.
“Is there any of you who don’t like politicians, period, and would vote him guilty just because he’s a politician?” defense attorney Chris Eulberg asked potential jurors during the selection process.
No one raised their hands at that point but, later, a potential alternate juror was excused after he said politicians were “in the pockets of big business and I don’t trust them.”
Terrill, 44, of Moore, took notes and smiled at times during humorous moments in the selection process.
Terrill is charged with a felony — offering a bribe to a candidate to withdraw. He is expected to testify in his own defense. If convicted, he faces up to two years in prison and a $5,000 fine. He denies doing anything wrong.
Prosecutors allege Terrill, a Republican, in 2010 offered then-Sen. Debbe Leftwich, a Democrat, a new $80,000-a-year state job not to run for re-election.
Leftwich, now 62, is also charged with a felony — soliciting and/or accepting the bribe to withdraw.
Her jury trial is set for December.
The jurors for Terrill’s trial include a dentist, a teacher, a racetrack employee, a school bus driver, a retired Tax Commission employee and a medical supply company employee.
Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong told jurors to return at 9 a.m. Tuesday. She warned them not to post anything about the trial on Facebook or Twitter.
“This is an order,” the judge said. “I will find you in contempt if you do.”
Testimony will begin after prosecutor Jimmy Harmon and Terrill’s attorney make their opening statements outlining the expected evidence.
Monday morning, the judge began the jury selection process by reading a lengthy list of witnesses to the first 22 candidates.
She then asked if they recognized any of the names. Most of the first 22 candidates at least recognized Gov. Brad Henry’s name but three said they didn’t recognize any witness name.
Henry, a prosecution witness, is expected to testify Wednesday.
The case was highly publicized in 2010 and 2011 but most juror candidates said they knew nothing or little about it from news accounts. Only one juror candidate and one alternate juror candidate had to be excused because they said they already had made up their minds.