MUSKOGEE -- A federal judge has decided to dismiss a petition seeking to revoke probation for former state Sen. Gene Stipe, effectively closing the case.
If Stipe hadn't been found mentally incompetent to assist in his defense last month, a violation of his probation would likely have been found because his attorneys acknowledged he had unauthorized contact with Steve Covington, U.S. District Judge Ronald White wrote in his order earlier this week.
Covington and Stipe are both convicted felons. Covington is a business associate of Stipe's and continues to be in charge of many of Stipe's business interests.
The violation probably would have resulted in a four- to six-month prison sentence, which White said Stipe basically served during his two stays at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo.
After undergoing mental health evaluations, a doctor determined that Stipe was mentally incompetent due to dementia.
"The sealed medical report regarding the defendant's competency provided substantial evidence that he handled incarceration very poorly," White said in his order. "Perfect justice is often elusive. Rough justice must therefore suffice."
Stipe and his wife, Mary, declined comment to the Tulsa World on Thursday.