Day 3: Key Government Witness Testifies In Tulsa Police Corruption Trial
Lori Fullbright, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- The trial of two Tulsa police officers accused of corruption continues at the federal courthouse in Tulsa Wednesday. Officer Jeff Henderson faces 54 charges, Officer Bill Yelton faces eight.
On Tuesday, federal prosecutors called a string of drug dealers and girlfriends of drug dealers to the stand.
The most damning witness yet testified Wednesday against Tulsa police officers Jeff Henderson and Bill Yelton, who are on trial for corruption.
The case boils down to whether Officers Henderson and Yelton really had informants that gave them information to make drug busts or they just claimed they had informants because they wanted to bust people but didn't have enough evidence.
Rochelle Martin is one of the government's key witnesses against Officers Bill Yelton and Jeff Henderson.
She's an ex-con, drug user and drug dealer who was Henderson's confidential informant for years, giving him information about drug dealers so he could arrest them.
Prosecutors asked Martin about 14 cases and asked her if she was the person who gave give Officers Henderson and Yelton the information that led to search warrants for those cases, but Martin says she was not.
Prosecutors say Officers Henderson and Yelton listed Martin in a police database as their informant on those cases.
Martin testified Officer Henderson gave her drugs three or four times to sell, including 10 pounds of marijuana and nine ounces of cocaine. She also testified Henderson had her lie and say she was the informant on a drug bust that led to the arrest of Bobby Haley, Sr. even though she wasn't.
She says she felt bad about it and apologized to Haley Tuesday when she met him in the courthouse.
Another witness testified Bobby Haley, Sr. was later convicted for drug dealing in a totally separate case that had nothing to do with Martin or these officers or even TPD, but the prosecutors trying Henderson and Yelton wiped away Haley's conviction and let him out of prison. He testified for them against the officers.
Defense attorneys got Rochelle Martin to admit she is a liar and had even lied under oath to the grand jury. When they pressed her about who she sold the drugs to that she claimed were given to her by Officer Henderson, she refused to say.
When pressed about her immunity deal with prosecutors, Martin was very vague and couldn't say what exactly it covered.
The case is being heard by Judge Bruce Black of New Mexico. The lead prosecutor is Jane Duke, the U.S. Attorney for eastern Arkansas.