Security level increased at the Tulsa County courthouse

Tuesday, September 27th 2005, 10:25 am
By: News On 6

Increased security at the Tulsa County courthouse this week is noticeable right away. News on 6 reporter Steve Berg says it is something out of the ordinary, for a murder trial that was out of the ordinary.

Courthouse workers like Li Rogers noticed the difference right away. "Y'know they've added security, the sheriff is around more readily than normal. They have the dogs. That's about it. It's different."

Nobody will say what the reason is, but most people have a pretty good idea. County commissioner deputy Paul Wilkening: "The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office received some intel this weekend that they deemed to be credible so this weekend we activated an emergency action plan."

A threat was made. Tulsa County doesn't want to say exactly which case it pertained to, but the security was focused outside the Lay trial. Wade Lay stated he sought revenge for the Branch Davidian incident in Waco and he was allegedly trying to get guns and made militia-style statements.

Whatever the case, and whatever the threat, Tulsa County says it was corroborated by their sources. Paul Wilkening: "The sheriff thought it was something we should take seriously and so we did." So there was a barricade put up and increased presence on the downtown courthouse plaza. And explosives-sniffing dogs checking trash cans, restrooms, and other hiding places. And those are just the things that are obvious.

The county says there is more you don't see. Paul Wilkening: "Hopefully we've done enough here to keep the patron safe and the courthouse employees safe." Li Rogers: "It makes me feel secure. It doesn't make me nervous in any way. Just come in, get the job done and go."

Tulsa County says they do have suspects in connection with the threat, but they don't say if they're close to an arrest.