MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

February 27, 2013

Judge to consider video in neglect trial

Additional footage was found three weeks ago

— A judge will watch more than four hours of video before deciding whether to allow interrogation footage into a trial for a woman charged with child neglect.

Betty Hall, 43, is being held in the death of her 4-year-old granddaughter, Christina Meeks, who died June 20, 2011. Hall is set for trial on the child neglect charge March 11.

Hall has been incarcerated at the Muskogee County/City Detention Center since her arrest. A Muskogee man was charged after the child’s death with sexually abusing Meeks, but those charges were dropped. No charges have been filed relating to the girl’s death — autopsy findings said the girl died of pre-existing medical conditions.

At the heart of Tuesday’s hearing was footage of Hall’s interrogation by former Muskogee Police Department Investigator A.J. Rudd. Hall’s attorney, Larry Vickers, said that up until three weeks ago, he had only seen one video of Hall’s interrogation. Vickers said that by reviewing police records and watching the video he had been provided, it was clear more footage existed.

Vickers said in court Tuesday he had received the other video footage he had requested, and was asking that it be quashed, since it had appeared so close to Hall’s scheduled trial date.

“I told (Assistant District Attorney) Dan (Medlock,) ‘Dan, this is an A.J. Rudd case. Can you see if the other video is there,’” Vickers said. “There’s been problems in past Rudd cases with videos popping up at the last minute.”

Vickers said Medlock called him last week to say he had just been provided with the extra footage Vickers had requested almost 21 months ago.

“Dan was very swift. He called me immediately and said, ‘Hey, they’re saying there’s more videos,’” Vickers said. “I don’t make any allegations against Mr. Medlock or the police department,  but it’s just too much to drop on someone this close to trial.”

Associate District Judge Norman Thygesen said he will review the video footage in his office, and hopes to have a decision on whether to allow the footage into the trial by early next week.

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or dgoforth@muskogeephoenix.com.

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