MUSKOGEE, Okla. (AP) -- The outcome of a mental competency hearing could determine the future of a government effort to revoke the federal probation of former state Sen. Gene Stipe. U.S. District Judge Ronald White's comment that a prison hospital psychologist had found the 80-year-old Stipe mentally incompetent came as a surprise to many at a hearing last month. Gene Stipe maintains he is mentally sound.
A hearing in Muskogee Monday will focus on the competency question. Depending on the outcome, another hearing will be held on the bid by federal prosecutors to revoke Stipe's probation for a campaign law violation.
Gene Stipe and his brother, Francis, also have been indicted on federal conspiracy, witness tampering, money laundering and mail fraud charges. They face arraignment on those charges on November 16th.