Ex-prosecutor, administrator indicted by multi-county grand jury

Monday, January 30th 2006, 12:52 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ An indictment unsealed in Oklahoma County District Court on Monday accused a former assistant district attorney of buying illegal methamphetamine at Muskogee and Cherokee County courthouses.

Another indictment accused the administrator of the Cherokee County District Attorney's office of two counts of perjury.

The indictments were among a half-dozen issued last week by the state's multicounty grand jury.

They name Janet Bickel, a former assistant district attorney, and Cherokee County office administrator Artest Vyrl Keeter.

The indictments accuse Bickel and Keeter of ``feloniously, willfully and unlawfully'' offering statements they knew to be untrue when called to testify before the state grand jury.

One indictment said Bickel testified falsely under oath that she has ``never purchased, received or otherwise obtained an illegal controlled dangerous substance for her personal use.''

Attorney General Drew Edmondson said the indictment alleges Bickel, 49, ``purchased methamphetamine on numerous occasions and at various locations, including at the Muskogee and Cherokee County Courthouses when she was working as an assistant district attorney in those counties.''

The indictment said Bickel, after appearing before the grand jury, said she was not going to tell defense attorneys Donn Baker and Rex Earl Star ``about the fact that I perjured myself.''

Keeter, 74, is accused of twice lying to the grand jury by saying he had not coached other witnesses prior to their testimony.

``One perjury county involves Keeter's suggestion that a witness use the 'static electricity theory' to answer the grand jury's inquiry about how evidence from a crime scene search warrant ended up in the witness' purse,'' Edmondson said.

Keeter was also accused of telling witnesses they should say they ``don't recall'' when answering questions.

``The indictment alleges Keeter told witnesses he had successfully used this strategy in the past in order to avoid making full disclosure,'' Edmondson said.

Edmondson said an investigation is ongoing. The state grand jury reconvenes Feb. 21.