MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Oklahoma News

October 29, 2013

Ex-lawmaker found guilty of bribery

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP)  — A former Oklahoma lawmaker accused of offering a state legislative colleague a job in exchange for her promise not to seek re-election was found guilty of felony bribery Tuesday.

A 12-member jury returned the verdict in the case of former state Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, after deliberating for about four hours.

The jury recommended a one-year prison sentence and a $5,000 fine, the maximum amount. The charge is punishable by up to two years in prison.

Terrill showed no emotion when the verdict was read. He was handcuffed and placed in the custody of the Oklahoma County sheriff’s office.

Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Harmon said prosecutors were pleased with the jury’s verdict. Defense attorney Chris Eulberg said the verdict is a letdown.

“I’m very disappointed,” Eulberg said, adding that he hopes to overturn the verdict on appeal.

Judge Cindy Truong set a hearing on an appeal bond for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and scheduled formal sentencing for Dec. 5. If granted, the bond would allow Terrill to remain free as he appeals his conviction.

Oklahoma County prosecutors alleged that Terrill offered to put former Democratic state Sen. Debbe Leftwich in an $80,000-a-year job at the medical examiner’s office if she would agree to not seek re-election in 2010 so a Republican, current state Rep. Mike Christian of Oklahoma City, could run for her open seat.

But Terrill testified earlier Tuesday that he did not offer Leftwich a job and that she never asked him for one.

“Never,” the former legislator replied when Eulberg asked Terrill if he had ever offered anything to Leftwich. “I don’t have the authority to offer anyone a state job.”

Prosecutors filed bribery charges against Terrill, 44, and Leftwich, 62. Leftwich is scheduled for trial on Dec. 9. She has pleaded not guilty.

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