10A Oct.

10, 2013

The Journal Record


Board certifies Rogers County petition
CLAREMORE - The Rogers County Election Board has certified a petition calling for a grand jury investigation of county officials, including District Attorney Janice Steidley. The board on Tuesday verified 6,994 signatures on the petition turned in last week. Petitioners needed 4,487 verified signatures of registered voters to convene the grand jury The election board spent four days verifying the signatures and eliminated 717 of the 7,711 submitted signatures, the Claremore Daily Progress reported Wednesday. Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton led the petition drive calling for a grand jury to determine if Steidley and others should be removed from office. The petition asks for a probe into, among other things, Steidley's alleged witness tampering, alleged wiretapping of courthouse employees by Steidley and Assistant District Attorney Bryce Lair, and Steidley's alleged sending of threatening text messages to a deputy sheriff. Others in Steidley's office are named in the petition. Steidley has said the allegations against her are "baseless and pathetic" and that the petition drive is politically motivated. The other officials have also rejected the claims against them. A hearing is scheduled for Oct. 18 about whether the grand jury should be convened to consider the matter. If Grady County Judge Richard Van Dyck approves the certification, a grand jury would convene within 30 days. Election Board Secretary Julie Dermody issued a letter Tuesday detailing the verification. "The Rogers County Election Board has completed the verification process utilizing the petition verification procedure provided by the State Election Board," Dermody wrote. "We have thoroughly examined each signature."
— Associated Press

Counsel as well as an extern for Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma. Knox graduated in 2013 from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and received her undergraduate degree in marketing and management from Westminster College in Fulton, Mo. Bunting is a commercial litigator from Dallas. Bunting worked for the Dallas law firm Haynes and Boone and was an associate at the Oklahoma City law firm Fellers, Snider, Blankenship, Bailey & Tippins. Bunting graduated in 2010 from the University of Oklahoma College of Law and received his undergraduate degree in regional development from the University of Arizona. - Staff report

Synar has represented Oklahoma businesses including real estate developer Gardner Tanenbaum and Edmond-based Heads-Up Companies Inc. Hayley V. Potts, of Yeovil, England, joined M.K. Bailey Law Offices as associate attorney. Her primary focus will be in criminal defense, and family and domestic law. Potts also has her English law degree in addition to her juris doctor from Oklahoma City University School of Law. She has worked for the Oklahoma County Public Defender's Office as an investigator. - Staff report

Science Institute and former director of the FBI Laboratory in Quantico, Va. "Together, we can move forensic science by developing and delivering new courses, enhancing current educational programs, and expanding research projects in areas beyond the expertise resident at UCO." In additional to UCO, founding members of the consortium include Louisiana State University, Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, Sam Houston State University, Charleston Southern University, University of Nevada-Las Vegas, Chaminade University and The Center for Rural Development in Somerset, Ky.
— Staff report

2 attorneys join GableGotwals
TULSA Elizabeth F. Cooper and Sara E. Barry have joined GableGotwals. Cooper joins GableGotwals as an associate attorney in the Oklahoma City office. Cooper will concentrate on litigation law. Cooper has spent the past year working as a Elizabeth F. term clerk for Judge Cooper Joe Heaton in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma after receiving her law degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in May 2012. Barry is of counSara E. Barry sel attorney in the Tulsa office. Barry will work in corporate and business organizations and commercial law. Barry worked at GableGotwals from February 2000 through November 2008 before joining McJunkin Red Man Corp., where she served as senior counsel. - Staff report

Experts: Okla. needs violent crime definition AG seeks execution OKLAHOMA CITY - Criminal justice dates for 3 inmates experts say Oklahoma needs a more
uniform definition in state law about which crimes are considered violent. Prosecutors and others testified Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee that state law is inconsistent with respect to defining violent crimes. Trent Baggett with the District Attorneys Council says there are multiple lists in state statutes, each with a different set of crimes deemed violent. Baggett said creating a uniform standard is important because there are other state laws that require the consideration of whether a person who has been convicted of a violent crime can work in a nursing home, for example, or be eligible for jail or drug court. Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn said developing one comprehensive list of violent crimes would be helpful for prosecutors.
— Associated Press

UCO Forensic Institute joins consortium
EDMOND - The University of Central Oklahoma's W Roger Webb Forensic Science Institute has joined seven other forensic science institutions to form the Forensic and Crime Scene Investigation Consortium. The consortium was established to help support a national forensic and crime scene investigation system by developing and delivering new courses, enhancing current undergraduate and graduate programs and expanding research projects in their core competencies. "This consortium brings together some of the finest talent in forensic science in the nation," said Dwight Adams, director of UCO's Forensic

Knox, Bunting join Phillips Murrah
OKLAHOMA CITY - Elizabeth Knox and John Bunting have joined Phillips Murrah as associate attorneys. Knox's practice focuses on commercial litigation with an emphasis on matters within the construction industry. Knox was a legal intern at Riley & Dunlap in Fulton, Mo. She also served as a general legal intern for the University of Oklahoma Office of Legal

2 attorneys join M.K. Bailey Law Offices
OKLAHOMA CITY - M.K. Bailey Law Offices in Oklahoma City has added two new attorneys. Timothy J. Synar, of Muskogee, joined M.K. Bailey Law Offices as of counsel specializing in civil litigation.

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt asked a state appeals court to schedule execution dates for three death-row inmates whose final appeals were rejected Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court. Pruitt filed the requests with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. Various state and federal appellate courts have also rejected the appeals from inmates Ronald Clinton Loft, 53; Michael Lee Wilson, 38; and Johnny Dale Black, 48. Lott was convicted in Oklahoma County of two counts of first-degree murder for the rape and murder of Anna Laura Fowler, 83, in September 1986 and Zelma Cutler, 93, in January 1987. Lott received two death sentences in January 2002. Evidence included DNA samples taken from the victims that were matched to him. Wilson was one of four men found guilty of first-degree murder in the Feb. 26, 1995, beating death of Tulsa convenience store manager Richard Yost, 30. Prosecutors said Yost, whose body was found bound and beaten on the blood-soaked floor of the store's cooler, was struck dozens of times with a baseball bat. One co-defendant, Darwin Brown, 31, was executed in January 2009. Another, 39-year-old Billy Don Alverson, was executed in January 2011. The third co-defendant, Richard Harjo, 35, was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Black was found guilty of firstdegree murder for the January 4, 1998, stabbing death of Bill Pogue, 54, a prominent horse trainer from Ringling. Pogue suffered 10 stab wounds, broken ribs and two punctured lungs in a roadside attack. — Associated Press

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