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Jury to begin deliberations in Oklahoma political bribery trial

Former Oklahoma state Rep. Randy Terrill will testify in his own defense Tuesday morning in Oklahoma County District Court.
by Nolan Clay Modified: October 28, 2013 at 9:40 pm •  Published: October 28, 2013

The jury in a political bribery trial will begin deliberations Tuesday after hearing from a final witness — the defendant, former state Rep. Randy Terrill.

“I'm glad that the truth is finally coming up,” Terrill told news reporters Monday. “I look forward to the opportunity to tell my story to the jury.”

Oklahoma County District Judge Cindy Truong told jurors to expect to stay Tuesday until they reach a verdict.

Terrill is set to testify when jurors return at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday. Prosecutors and defense attorneys will make their closing arguments after he finishes.

Then, the jury will begin deliberating.

Jurors heard from seven defense witnesses Monday.

Terrill, a Republican, is accused of offering then-Sen. Debbe Leftwich, a Democrat, an $80,000-a-year state job at the medical examiner's office in 2010.

Prosecutors allege he bribed her so she would not run for re-election in 2010.

Prosecutors said he acted in part to help state Rep. Mike Christian, his friend. Christian, R-Oklahoma City, had planned in 2010 to run for her seat but ran for re-election to his House seat instead.

In 2010, Terrill was chairman of a House appropriations subcommittee that oversaw the medical examiner's office.

Terrill had the language creating the new position — a transition coordinator — inserted into a reform bill nine days before the legislative session ended, according to testimony.

Prosecutors allege Terrill was trying to take advantage of the chaotic nature of a legislative session's end to slip the provision creating the new job past his fellow lawmakers.

The first defense witness, former Senate President Pro Tem Glenn Coffee, said he was not involved in any scheme to get Leftwich a job.

Coffee, the reform bill's author, said he never heard Terrill bribe her.

Coffee, a Republican, said Leftwich told him in March 2010 she was considering not running for re-election.

“Was there anything secret about this transition coordinator language that you're aware of?” Terrill's attorney, Chris Eulberg, asked.

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by Nolan Clay
Sr. Reporter
Nolan Clay was born in Oklahoma and has worked as a reporter for The Oklahoman since 1985. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing trials and witnessed bomber Tim McVeigh's execution. His investigative reports have brought down public officials,...
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