Judge To Consider Motions Concerning Ex-DA

Wednesday, July 11th 2007, 6:20 am
By: News On 6

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (AP) -- A judge will consider motions from the state Attorney General's office and a defense attorney before deciding whether a former prosecutor should stand trial on an embezzlement count. At the conclusion of a two-day preliminary hearing for Richard Gray, Assistant Attorney General Joel-lyn McCormick said the state will file amended charges against Gray, reflecting what the law was at the time of the alleged wrongdoing.

"Under the amended charges, the range of punishment would be less," McCormick said Tuesday.

"There have been some significant changes in the embezzlement laws over the past three to four years."

As the evidence unfolded in court, the state realized the charges needed to be amended, McCormick said.

Gray, 46, is accused of taking almost $9,000 from his office in March 2004. He was district attorney for Cherokee, Sequoyah, Wagoner and Adair counties.

Clark Brewster, Gray's attorney, said he wanted a chance to research the matter, and to call several witnesses to dispute the state's testimony.

Okfuskee County Associate District Judge David Martin, who is presiding over the hearing, said after receiving motions he will decide whether Gray should stand trial.

The missing money was seized in two drug raids in the amounts of $2,330 and $6,534, testimony showed.

The state attorney general's office has maintained Gray was the last person to be in contact with the money and was unable to produce it.

Gray has denied any wrongdoing.

On Tuesday, Brewster attacked prosecutors' investigative practices.

Fred Ellis, an attorney general's investigator, testified he investigated Gray's office after receiving a request from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation in May 2006.

During cross-examination by Brewster, Ellis said he did not investigate Clint Johnson, the former drug task force field agent who was the last person in possession of $705 that was seized during a drug raid.

That amount was listed on the bureau's request letter to be investigated, Brewster said.

Related stories:

10/24/2006 - Indictment Accuses District Attorney Richard Gray Of Embezzlement

11/28/2006 - Report Recommends Continued Probe Of Cherokee County’s Ex-Prosecutor

5/17/2007 - Preliminary Hearing Postponed For Former Prosecutor

7/10/2007 - Court Hearing Held For Former DA