By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6
TULSA, OK -- Convicted child rapist Brandon Brixey cannot take back his guilty plea. A Tulsa County District Court judge ruled Wednesday afternoon that when Brixey pleaded guilty to carjacking a van and raping an 8-year-old girl, he knew what he was doing.
Brixey claimed he was under extreme duress when he pleaded guilty. He said that he was afraid for his life because he'd been attacked in jail, and his family has been threatened so, he felt he had no choice but to plead guilty.
The Tulsa County District Attorney doesn't buy it. He believes Brixey pleaded guilty because he thought the judge would go easy on him, and when the judge hammered him, Brixey wanted to take it back.
Brandon Brixey says he wanted to use the insanity defense at his trial, but his lawyer wouldn't let him. He says he felt he wouldn't get out of the courtroom alive, especially if the jury learned he had a sexually transmitted disease and had given it to his 8-year-old victim during the rape.
He says all the pressure made him stop the trial - after the little girl testified - and plead guilty.
He even admitted all the crimes and apologized for them, telling the judge he deserved to be severely punished for them.
The judge agreed, and sentenced Brixey to two life terms plus 85 years, to run back to back. After that, Brixey decided to take back his guilty plea.
"The only reason we're here today is because Brixey didn't like the sentence he got," said Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris.
Brixey's new attorney says his bi-polar disease; depression and the drugs he's taking for them make it hard for him to know when he's making a sound decision, even though he told the judge many times during his guilty plea that he knew what he was doing.
"When someone is suffering from mental illness, they're not in a position to inform the court of that at that time," said Kirsten Bernhardt, Brixey's attorney.
The judge decided Brandon Brixey did know what he was doing when he pled guilty and decided to let the plea and the sentence stand.
That was a huge relief to the victim's mother and a victory for the DA.
"A child predator will die in the penitentiary, and that's what Mr. Brixey deserves," Harris said.
If the judge had let Brixey take back his plea, there would have been a new trial, and the little girl would have had to testify all over again.
Just at the mention of that in court today, the little girl's mother started crying. As it turned out, that is not the case, and she can finally tell her daughter: this is over for good.
Brixey pleaded guilty to carjacking a family's van and sexually assaulting an 8-year-old girl who was inside. He apologized in court, saying he'd committed a terrible sin and violated her in the worst way possible.