Judge Will Not Disqualify Rogers County DA In Bixby Rape Case
BIXBY, Oklahoma - A judge decided Tuesday not to disqualify the Rogers County District Attorney's Office from a rape case involving four Bixby football players.
Attorneys for the four accursed of the crime asked, yet again, for District Attorney Matt Ballard to be removed from the case, claiming his office couldn't be fair and impartial.
The attorneys for the football players argued Ballard couldn't be fair because he worked with the victim's mother years ago. The judge, however, did not find a conflict there.
The defense also argued because Ballard had represented the Bixby school board in a civil case years ago he wouldn't be fair. But, again, the judge found no conflict.
The players' attorneys also said Ballard's office should be removed because one of his assistant prosecutors is friends with the victim's mother.
Ballard had removed that assistant prosecutor from the case and the judge said she didn't believe the friendship had caused Ballard to file the charges.
The defense said they plan to appeal the decision.
Tuesday's hearing was supposed to be for a judge to determine if there is enough evidence to send Samuel Lakin, Joe Wood, William Thomas and Colton Cable to trial, but, the suspects were not in court.
The defense also believes it's clear from the evidence that was presented Tuesday that there was no cover-up by the school. They believe once all the evidence comes out, people will realize no rape was committed or reported.
"After the public sees what happened, everyone will realize these four boys have been through a lot," attorney Clark Brewster said.
Ballard did not give a comment after court, but argued in court that his office could be fair in prosecuting the four football players and was anxious to start presenting the facts to a judge.