OKC Police chemist preliminary report delivered to Keating, Edmondson

Wednesday, July 17th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A preliminary report into the investigation of an embattled former Oklahoma City police chemist was delivered Tuesday to Gov. Frank Keating and Attorney General Drew Edmondson, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation said.

The report, which will remain confidential according to state law, covers the OSBI's review of more than 1,600 cases handled by former police chemist Joyce Gilchrist, Edmondson said.

``Of those cases. 196 were determined to warrant further review,'' Edmondson said. ``Transcripts from 13 non-capital cases have been reviewed and were found that testing either was not necessary or was impossible due to lack of evidence.''

The attorney general said additional forensic testing was also performed in the death penalty case of John Michael Hooker, convicted of first-degree murder in 1998 for the stabbing deaths of Sylvia Stokes, 28, and Drucilla Morgan, 58.

``The results demonstrated his guilt,'' Edmondson said.

He said the state has also agreed to submit evidence for testing in the capital case of Michael Edward Hooper, convicted in the 1993 killing of his girlfriend Cynthia Jarman, 19, and her two children, Tonya, 5, and Timmy, 3.

``The state must make certain each and every case, where forensic analysis and or testimony in court was provided by Ms. Gilchrist, be thoroughly reviewed,'' Keating said. ``This initial report states those findings and we're now ready to proceed with the next step of the investigation.''

Gilchrist, who worked for the department since 1980, was fired in September for allegedly performing shoddy work and giving false or misleading testimony in criminal cases, including some in which she helped send men to death row.

She is also the subject of a federal investigation.

Gilchrist has filed federal lawsuits against the city and the police chief, saying she was fired because of a sexual misconduct complaint she made against a supervisor.