The former Wagoner County sheriff and deputy facing extortion and bribery charges attended a joint preliminary hearing Wednesday.
Former sheriff Bob Colbert and Deputy Jeff Gragg heard some of the evidence against them.
The hearing lasted well into the evening, and the judge anticipates it could continue for a number of days based on the list of witnesses testifying. Wednesday, it took hours to hear from just one witness.
Colbert and Gragg sat in the courtroom together; the two are accused of bribing and extorting money from Torell Wallace and a 17-year-old passenger, after they were stopped and arrested in Wagoner County in December of 2014.
The Oklahoma Attorney General’s Office said after the two were arrested and taken to jail they were told they could go if they forfeited the $10,000 found in the car during the stop.
The defense alleges the money is drug money and was legally seized - a point they tried to drive home as they heard testimony from Wallace.
Wallace, however, said the money was from a student loan, work and other sources.
The Attorney General’s Office alleges the two were released from jail after signing over the money - their records deleted, and the money put into the drug forfeiture account.
Essentially, the preliminary hearing is to establish whether or not the money was treated properly by Colbert and Gragg and if there is enough evidence for them to stand trial.
The testimony will pick up again Thursday.
Colbert was indicted several months ago by a grand jury and went on paid administrative leave. If convicted, he could face up to 25 years in prison.