Texas, Tulsa County Point Fingers About Eufaula Bank Robber's Release
TULSA, Oklahoma - We're learning more about why the man who killed a bank president may have been out on the streets.
When he robbed the Bank of Eufaula last month, Cedric Norris was supposed to be serving a 60-year sentence for crimes he committed in Tulsa and Creek Counties.
The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office says it has a form that proves it did their job of letting Texas know Cedric Norris was to come back to Oklahoma after serving time in the Lone Star State.
“We handled it appropriately and properly according to our policies and procedures,” Tulsa County Interim Sheriff Michelle Robinette said.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice says the opposite.
TDCJ says it conducted an exhaustive search of Norris' file and claims Tulsa County sent Texas an incomplete request.
“They said they didn't get the JNS,” Robinette said.
Texas said it needs a 'judgment and sentence/commitment' document to legally be able to transfer an inmate to another state once a sentence is complete.
Tulsa County sent a Form 9.
On that form, it asks Texas to contact the county 30 to 60 days prior to Norris' release to make plans for his return to Oklahoma.
Texas says that form is essentially a cover letter.
TDCJ says typically when it's missing the sentence document someone would call the county to request it. Texas can't prove that call was made, but believes it happened.
Tulsa County Interim Sheriff Michelle Robinette says all the necessary paperwork, including the sentence document, would have been sent with Norris when he was taken back to a Texas prison after being convicted in Oklahoma.
“We've got the documentation; we did what we were supposed to do,” Robinette said. “It's a nationwide procedure to do what we did and I don't think the error was on our part. I'm confident the error was not on our side.”
Texas says it actually sent the documentation to Tulsa County Monday after the district attorney's office filed an open records request with the TDCJ.
“It has been difficult to get the paperwork from the Department of Corrections in Texas,” Robinette said.
Texas says the three documents it sent back are the only ones on file from Tulsa County.
Instead of being extradited back to Oklahoma, Norris was released from Texas in March 2012 under mandatory supervision.
Texas says Norris last reported to his parole officer Jan.13.
On Jan. 19, Norris was caught on security camera robbing and beating a gas station store clerk, then stealing his SUV.
Just a few days after that, Norris drove that SUV to Eufaula, where he killed the Bank of Eufaula president, shot a bank employee and took a customer hostage before being killed himself in a shootout with law enforcement.
A jury sentenced Norris to 60 years for a forceful robbery in Creek County. That sentence was to run concurrently with a 10-year sentence for robbery in Tulsa County.
Texas says it has no documents on Norris from Creek County. The DA says that paperwork would have been sent with Norris.
He says he doesn't know how at this point it can be determine what did or did not happen.
After his Oklahoma convictions, Tulsa County transported Norris to back Texas so he could complete his sentence there for theft.