Judge Awaits Report To Decide Next Move In Gene Stipe Case

Monday, September 24th 2007, 12:51 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A federal judge is awaiting a report from a prison hospital in Missouri to decide whether to resume a probation revocation hearing for former state Senator Gene Stipe. Stipe returned to McAleaster after U.S. District Judge Ronald A. White signed an order for his release last week after an examination of his mental competency was completed.

The exam was performed at the U.S. Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Missouri.

A spokeswoman says the judge had not yet received the report on Stipe's condition as of Monday.

Gay Guthrie, first assistant U.S. attorney in Muskogee, says if the doctor in Missouri finds Stipe to be competent, the judge could set a date to resume the revocation hearing.

Guthrie says the court still could have a hearing on Stipe's mental condition, based on White's observations during a hearing in late August. At the time, the judge said Stipe appeared to be either hypnotized or on drugs.

Stipe denies he is incompetent.

Federal prosecutors are trying to revoke Stipe's probation by alleging that he took part in a campaign fraud scheme similar to one that caused him to get a five-year suspended sentence in 2004.

They also say Gene Stipe broke his parole by associating with a convicted felon.

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