AG appoints two prosecutors to oversee Tulsa County grand jury


Wednesday, May 23rd 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ The state attorney general has appointed prosecutors to oversee a Tulsa County grand jury investigation of the drowning of a Jenks girl.

District Attorney Larry Stuart, who covers Osage and Pawnee counties, and Dianne Barker Harrold, who serves as DA for Adair, Cherokee, Sequoyah and Wagoner counties, will advise the panel when it convenes June 12 to look into the 1998 death of Rachel Clayton.

The 10-year-old girl's body was found in a bathtub.

In letters dated Monday to Stuart and Barker Harrold, Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson wrote that he had appointed them, their first assistants or their ``designated assistant district attorney'' to evaluate the case and ``determine what action is appropriate, and to take any such appropriate action.''

The Tulsa County DA's office has recused itself from its customary role as legal adviser to the panel. Rachel's grandmother, Madge Colbert, requested the disqualification of Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris and his staff, after he had declined to file a charge in the case.

Colbert's petition alleges there are facts and evidence that may support ``a revised determination by the medical examiner'' that Rachel's death was a homicide.

An autopsy report said the child drowned but listed her manner of death _ such as accident, natural or homicide _ as unknown.

The Tulsa County Election Board certified this month that Colbert obtained 6,811 verified signatures of registered county voters in her petition drive to impanel the grand jury. At least 5,000 verifiable signatures were needed.