Tulsa County DA Fighting Back Against Witness Intimidation
TULSA COUNTY, Oklahoma - The Tulsa County District Attorney's Office is prosecuting two different witness intimidation cases involving prostitution rings.
Two different women say they were threatened to stop working with investigators and the DA's Office wants people to know they take these cases very seriously.
According to Investigators one man intimidated a witness in person and another through social media.
On January 11th a woman came forward to Tulsa Police and said a man beat her up in a bar parking lot and tried to strangle her. He also stole several items out of her purse including a gun.
“He's already strangled her, he's already beat her, what’s not to say that next time he shoots her,” said Tulsa Police Officer Jeanne Pierce.
Ramar Palms was arrested in November of last year for forcing the woman to engage in prostitution.
According to court documents, he told her he knew she was working with police when he was beating her up.
This is one form of witness intimidation that the Tulsa County District Attorney's Office takes very seriously.
“If you are a witness to a crime, that there are things out there not only that can help protect you in the process but also if somebody does anything to harass or intimidate or threaten you, we will pursue it,” said Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Elmore, Director of Special Victims Unit.
Assistant District Attorney Kenneth Elmore says they prosecute many different types of witness intimidation, including threats through social media.
Court Documents show Willie Whitman is currently in the Tulsa County Jail for calling a witness in his case a "snitch" and messaging threats to hurt her on Facebook.
“In today’s modern age its Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter,” said Elmore. “Again, if anyone tries to interfere with the integrity of this process they can be breaking the law.”
ADA Elmore says people shouldn't be afraid to come forward because they will be protected, no matter what type of crime they witnessed.
“Whether you’re a victim of a robbery or a gang shooting, a prostitute or just a bartender doing his job, you deserve to be protected,” said Elmore.
ADA Elmore says witness intimidation is a felony and people can serve 10-20 years if found guilty.
“If you participate in this system to be a witness to seek justice that we're going to do anything we can to make sure you are left alone,” said Elmore.
Both Whitman and Palms are still in the Tulsa County Jail at this time.