OCDW 05.15.17



James L. Hankins, Publisher


(with special thanks to Mark Hoover, OIDS, for contributing regularly)


“I have lived my life, and I have fought my battles, not against the weak and the poor—anybody can do that—but against power, against injustice, against oppression, and I have asked no odds from them, and I never shall.”—-Clarence S. Darrow, Attorney for the Damned 491, 497 (Arthur Weinberg ed. 1957).


NUMBER 3: ATOKA COUNTY: The population of Atoka County is 14,007, and the county seat is Atoka. This county was formed prior to statehood from Choctaw Lands and its name honors a Choctaw Chief named Atoka. I have had one case in that county, which is home to the very remote Howard McLeod Correctional Center. I am 2-out-3 on the counties thus far.




No new cases.




Mark Stephen Ellis v. Rick Raemisch, No. 15-1088 (10th Cir., May 11, 2017) (Published) (Holmes, Matheson & Moritz): Habeas Corpus (Exhaustion); IAC: A grant of habeas relief on IAC claim in a case involving child sexual abuse is reversed.




“Only Supreme Court justices and schoolchildren are expected to and do take the entire summer off.” –Chief Justice John Roberts (statement made while he served as a lawyer in the Reagan Administration).


No new cases.




In re: Eric DeWayne Cathey, No. 16-20312 (5th Cir., May 11, 2017): Habeas Corpus (Second and Successive); MR: In this MR claim under Atkins, the panel grants authorization for Cathey to file a successive habeas claim.

Charles Michael Hedlund v. Charles L. Ryan, No. 09-99019 (9th Cir., April 13, 2017): Habeas Corpus (Capital Habeas Cases): Denial of habeas relief is reversed as to the death penalty.

Michael Rogers v. Secretary, No. 15-12880 (11th Cir., May 2, 2017): Habeas Corpus (SOL & Equitable Tolling): A motion filed under Florida law constitutes “collateral review” under the AEDPA in order to toll the statute of limitations.

United States v. Walter Liew, No. 14-10367 (9th Cir., May 5, 2017): Conspiracy; Obstruction of Justice: Complicated criminal prosecution involving corporate trade secrets, but some counts of obstruction of justice were reversed because filing an answer in a civil case regarding the same subject matter that the accused “never misappropriated any information from DuPont or any of its locations” was too close to a general denial to constitute obstruction of justice.




MICHAEL JOHNSON and MARCO PALUMBO, OKC, represented attorney Jay Silvernail who was charged with shooting a bar patron in Oklahoma City. Self-defense was asserted, and the jury split 9-3 in favor of guilt, but it only takes one so Judge Timothy Henderson declared a mistrial. Nice work, Michael and Marco!

RYAN SULLIVAN and JACOB BENEDICT, Oklahoma County P.D., secured a not guilty verdict in a Trafficking (Meth) case and Possession of Weapon in Commission of Felony in Oklahoma County. The client was an illegal immigrant who required an interpreter. Those are tough cases to win. Good job, Ryan and Jacob!

BILLY COYLE, OKC, won a jury trial in Oklahoma County for a client accused of possession of cocaine. This case was particularly noteworthy because the client had previously entered a guilty plea, but Bill had it withdrawn. Amazing victory, Billy!

TOD S. MERCER, McAlester, convinced Judge Tim Mills to dismiss murder charges against his client. The State is considering an appeal. Nice work, Tod!

BRECKEN WAGNER and BLAKE LYNCH, won a spectacular jury trial in Cleveland County in the so-called “glass pipe” case where prosecutors charged a retailer owner with selling drug paraphernalia. Also, the dynamic duo secured dismissal of charges against a school teacher in Haileyville. Pretty good week for Brecken and Blake!




INITIATIVE: The Muskogee County Sheriff has tried to come up with ideas on how to ease overcrowding.

FIRED: A Pushmataha County deputy has been fired for lying to the OSBI about a shootout. Also, an officer in Dibble claims he was fired for not writing enough tickets.

GUILTY: A woman has pled guilty to attempted bribery of a judge in Oklahoma County.

JUVENILE AFFAIRS: Gov. Fallin has shaken up the composition of the Board of Juvenile Affairs. Also, the State has moved to consolidate juvenile detention centers.

PROTEST: Gov. Fallin has signed into law a “protest bill” which criminalizes trespass in situations that might involve peaceable assembly.

DEATH PENALTY: A senior at SNU has advocated abolishing the death penalty.

DARROW: A Tulsa native has a part in a bust of Clarence Darrow.

NEW JUDGE: Attorney Trevor Pemberton has been appointed Special Judge in Oklahoma County. Also, Gov. Fallin has appointed two new district judges in Oklahoma County, Howard Roy Harelson and Richard C. Ogden.

AWARD: ADA Cortnie Siess has been named Prosecutor of the Year in Stephens county.

DRUG COURT: Nice story about Drug Court graduation.

OFFICER SUSPENDED: A supervisor at LARC has been suspended for making horrible statements about inmates which were captured on video.

NEW COURT: Lawmakers are considering a new Domestic Violence Court.

WAY BACK: KTUL takes us back to 1977 to Oklahoma’s most infamous unsolved murders when three girl scouts were murdered on a campout.

PUBLIC INTOX: The City of Tulsa is taking a proactive step to deal with public intox cases.

BLUE LIVES: Gov. Fallin has signed the “Blue Lives Matter” law which makes LWOP or death the only punishments for murder of a law enforcement officer. However, the law has not been well-received by all prosecutors.

NOMINATION: President Trump has nominated Scott Palk to the federal bench.



THE QUESTION: Police found a woman sitting in the center median of a highway in Claremore who told them that she had snorted “dope, but not dope,” that is the question.

ARMED: A “heavily armed” man was arrested in Tulsa…for panhandling.

FACEBOOK: A Cartwright man set his ex-girlfriend’s house on fire…and of course had to live-stream it all on Facebook.

METH TEST: The Tecumseh Police Department has offered to test meth in order to make sure that it is gluten-free.




THURSDAY, JUNE 29th and FRIDAY, JUNE 30th, 2017: 2017 PATRICK A. WILLIAMS CRIMINAL DEFENSE INSTITUTE will take place in Oklahoma City at the Reed Center located at the Sheraton Hotel. The link goes to registration info and more info about the venue.



SUBSCRIPTIONS AND SUBMISSIONS: To subscribe to the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Weekly just send an e-mail to James L. Hankins at jameshankins@ocdw.com and include the e- mail address to which you want the issues to be delivered. I am sending out the issues for free now to whoever wants to receive them. Submissions of articles, war stories, letters, victory stories, comments or questions can be sent to Mr. Hankins via e-mail or you can contact him by phone at 405.753.4150, by fax at 405.445.4956, or by regular mail at James L. Hankins, TIMBERBROOKE BUSINESS CENTER, 929 N.W. 164th St., Edmond, OK 73013.


ABOUT THE OCDW: The Oklahoma Criminal Defense Weekly is compiled, maintained, edited and distributed weekly by attorney James L. Hankins. Archived issues can be obtained by contacting Mr. Hankins directly, although some of them are on the web site at www.ocdw.com. OCDW accepts no money from sponsors. Mr. Hankins is solely responsible for its content. The OCDW web site is maintained by Spark Line.

COPYRIGHT STATEMENT & DISCLAIMER: ©2005-2017 by James L. Hankins. All rights reserved. OCDW hereby grants free use of these materials for any non-commercial purpose provided that proper credit to the OCDW is given. In the event that copyrighted works are included in an edition of the OCDW such works may not be reproduced without the consent of the copyright holder because under federal law the OCDW has no authority to allow the reproduction of the intellectual property of others. For purposes that go beyond “fair use” of the copyrighted material under federal law, the permission of the copyright holder must be obtained. If you are a copyright holder and object to any portion of an issue of the OCDW, please contact the publisher, James L. Hankins, at the contact information above (located under the SUBSCRIPTIONS AND SUBMISSIONS section). Finally, the materials presented in this newsletter are for informational purposes only, and are not, nor intended to be, legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an experienced attorney licensed in your jurisdiction for legal advice applicable to the specific facts of your case. Cases are summarized in each weekly issue as they are issued and filed by the respective court, and are thus subject to being withdrawn, corrected, vacated, and/or modified or reversed without notice. Always conduct your own research!


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