Witness in Oklahoma illegal gambling case attacked in July

A witness in the illegal gambling case against Teddy Mitchell was attacked at his insurance office in July. Insurance agent Michael Wayne Thomas, 41, suffered a concussion and black eye.
by Nolan Clay Published: October 1, 2012
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Police this year searched Thomas' Edmond home and Edmond insurance office and seized computers during their investigation of Julie Mitchell's death. Police also collected a DNA sample from him and spoke to an ex-wife.

Last week, Thomas declined to comment on being attacked. Thomas asked a reporter to call his attorney instead.

The FBI put Thomas in a hotel room for his protection for about a week after the assault because he is a witness in the gambling case, sources told The Oklahoman.

A federal grand jury this month indicted Mitchell, two of his sons, six other men and a Costa Rican company.

Mitchell, 57, is accused in the 81-count indictment of being the leader of an illegal gambling organization that had proceeds of at least $8.1 million.

Mitchell both hosted illegal high-stakes poker games at his Oklahoma City home and illegally took bets from across the country on sporting events, according to the indictment. He eventually sent clients to a sports betting Internet site run by the Costa Rican company, according to the indictment.

Thomas played poker at Mitchell's home, sources said.

Mitchell's attorney, Scott Adams, said last week, “What Teddy did was all legal. Everything he did was legal. ... They're misrepresenting what's going on. ... He was a professional gambler.”

About the attack on Thomas, Adams said, “Obviously, Teddy had nothing to do with it.”

Adams said Thomas owes money to “everybody in town.” Adams suggested somebody upset over a debt was behind the attack.

Thomas filed a bankruptcy petition last November, listing almost $330,000 in liabilities. He asked a bankruptcy judge to allow him to make monthly payments over five years to take care of his debts.

The bankruptcy judge in April rejected his payment plan and dismissed the bankruptcy case.

In a 2011 lawsuit, Mitchell accused Thomas of failing to pay off a $20,000 loan. Thomas denied owing the money. The case is pending.

NewsOK.com has disabled the comments for this article.
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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