Former FBI agent appears in Tulsa County court on murder charge

Wednesday, January 14th 2004, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Paul Rico's legal battle begins in Oklahoma. Rico is the former FBI agent charged with the mob murder of Tulsa businessman Roger Wheeler in 1981.

The News on 6 shot video through a courtroom door window, it shows Rico being arraigned via closed circuit TV. An arraignment is the first step in a criminal proceeding where the judge lets the person know what the charges are.

Rico's attorney became quite animated when telling the judge he wants this process to move forward quickly, saying Rico's health is bad. Rico’s attorney Garvin Isaacs: "I'm extremely concerned about his health, he has a bad heart. He's innocent and we want him to be alive and well enough to be there and hear the witnesses."

Tulsa County assistant DA Steve Kunzweiler: "We will let the facts determine the real issues for Rico's health. The only issue before the court right now is his competency, after that we'll deal with bail and after that, we'll have a preliminary hearing set."

Rico's attorney had asked for him to be evaluated last month, saying he was disoriented and hallucinating. Now, they say he's fine.

The prosecutors now say they want him evaluated to make sure there are no troubles down the line.