Jury Deliberations To Continue Monday In Tulsa Police Corruption Trial


Friday, August 19th 2011, 9:30 am
By: News On 6


Lori Fullbright, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The case is in the hands of the jury in the corruption trial of Tulsa police officers Jeff Henderson and Bill Yelton.

The jury deliberated three hours Friday, then went home for the weekend. They have more than 50 counts to go over. They must decide if the government proved each charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

Prosecutors told the jurors during closing arguments that officers Henderson and Yelton took shortcuts when arresting drug dealers and gang members, that the officers hid behind confidential informants to get warrants.

The prosecutor said, the tow officers could've put the name of Tulsa's mayor down as an informant and gotten a judge to sign a warrant. He said it was scary but true.

They say the officers got lazy, wanted the glory and took shortcuts. They say the drug dealers and gang bangers were released from prison because of those shortcuts and that the Constitution applies to everyone, even criminals.

Defense attorneys say the officers are heroes who have done a great service to this community in fighting the drug and gang war that has brought violence to the streets for so many years.

They say they provided proof in the way of phone records, property receipts, even pictures, that prove the government's key witnesses are lying. They say the witnesses all had motive to lie because they want shorter prison sentences.

They pointed out all the people who claimed they were victims of these officers who never even testified in this trial.

They say the government had no audiotapes or videotapes catching these officers committing crimes, but said this whole case was built on the word of admitted liars, drug dealers and career criminals.

One defense attorney compared this case to the release of the pentagon papers and said because it outed informants and revealed police procedures, officers could be killed and citizens in jeopardy.

Prosecutors say that is just preying on people's fear. She says that's what these officers did, made people fear bad people would do bad things if they weren't believed and given warrants.

Defense attorneys pointed out the officers did stop dangerous drug dealers and gang bangers.

8/19/2011 Related Story: Defense Rests In Tulsa Police Corruption Trial