MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Local News

October 27, 2012

Judge dismisses jury, then case

Rape case against Muskogee man can be refiled

A Muskogee judge dismissed a case Friday against a man set for trial on a rape charge, surprising prosecutors who believed the trial period had been ended early.

Victor Cottrell Redo Jr., 26, was released from jail Friday after District Judge Mike Norman dismissed the case filed against him Aug. 2, 2011.

Prosecutors allege Redo raped a woman he met on Facebook on July 30, 2011. Redo was charged with first-degree rape and forcible oral sodomy.

Norman dismissed the case, saying it had been set on three felony jury dockets, but had never reached the jury trial phase. Court records show it was stricken from February’s docket because Redo’s then-attorney, Roger Hilfiger, was in a different jury trial.

It was stricken again in July, and set for Oct. 26.

“It’s my intention today to dismiss this case and to put him back on probation for the five-year term,” Norman said.

When Redo was charged in the rape case, his probation was revoked on a 2008 distribution of controlled substance conviction.

Norman could not be reached for comment Friday evening.

The case was dismissed without prejudice, meaning the state can re-file the charges at a later date.

According to transcripts from a hearing Friday, Norman said he had asked the Muskogee County District Attorney’s Office — who fills out the docket schedule — to set Redo’s trial at the beginning of the docket two times.

This docket lists Redo’s trial as scheduled to begin Friday, the last day of the two-week trial period.

During the hearing, Norman asked Assistant District Attorney Tim King and Redo’s attorney, Jay Cook, if they were ready to proceed to trial.

“We were,” King said.

According to the transcript, Redo was unchained from his seat in the empty jury box and placed at the defense table with Cook. Norman then began reading a statement to the nonexistent jury, before telling attorneys he had excused the jury pool because First Assistant District Attorney Jim Carnagey said on Wednesday “We had no more jury trials.”

“He grossly misunderstood and misinterpreted what I said then,” Carnagey said. “Because we had trials, including a murder trial, we were ready on.”

Jurors were sent home Wednesday after a jury was picked in a murder case which concluded Friday. Court records show 550 jury summons were sent out, but only 140 showed up at the courthouse for jury duty Oct. 15. Fifty-one of those jurors were excused, leaving just 89 to hear cases over the two-week period.

In total, two criminal cases were tried during the year’s final jury period, though the docket lists 69 criminal cases. Norman had chided the DA’s office in a written statement earlier in the month for trying just six cases during July’s trial period.

Deandre Clark, 19, is accused of first-degree felony murder in the Nov. 23, 2011 slaying of Ryan Satterfield. That trial was set for jury selection Monday, but was delayed because all three courtrooms were filled with other trials and the jury pool was so limited, it was possible no jury would be able to be selected, leading to a mistrial.

It was stricken to the February docket Wednesday.

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

1
Text Only
Local News
AP Video
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks