MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 30, 2013

$10,000 bond granted for Terrill during appeal


— OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma County judge decided Wednesday to allow a former state lawmaker convicted of bribery to remain free on bond while he appeals his conviction.

District Judge Cindy Truong set a $10,000 bond for former Rep. Randy Terrill, R-Moore, who was found guilty Tuesday evening of offering a bribe for withdrawal of candidacy, a felony.

Prosecutors alleged that Terrill arranged to put former Democratic state Sen. Debbe Leftwich in an $80,000-a-year job at the state Medical Examiner’s Office if she would not seek re-election in 2010 so a Republican colleague of Terrill’s could seek her open seat.

Terrill’s jury recommended he serve a one-year prison sentence and pay a $5,000 fine. Formal sentencing is scheduled on Dec. 5.

Leftwich’s trial for soliciting a bribe for withdrawal of candidacy is set Dec. 9. She has pleaded not guilty.

Dressed in an orange jail-issued jumpsuit and slippers and shackled with chains at the wrists and ankles, Terrill, 44, was largely silent as he stood before Truong. He bore little resemblance to the talkative former lawmaker who was never at a loss for words during eight years in the state House.

Defense attorney Chris Eulberg asked Truong to allow Terrill to remain free as he appeals his conviction and said friends of Terrill who attended the hearing, including state Reps. Mike Reynolds, R-Oklahoma City, and Paul Wesselhoft, R-Moore, were prepared to testify that Terrill was not likely to flee the state.

“He’s been a lifelong resident of Oklahoma. He’s never been arrested,” Eulberg said. He said Terrill’s elderly mother and two young children “rely on him for all their needs” while Terrill’s wife works.

Eulberg also said Terrill could conceivably serve his entire one-year sentence before his appeal is final.

“There are legal issues in this case that have been argued and argued for three years,” he said. “There is a very good chance that this case could be reversed on appeal.”

Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Harmon said Terrill has a history of using threatening language and expressed concern about the possibility of witness intimidation prior to Leftwich’s trial. In 2011, the House reprimanded Terrill for allegedly making verbal threats against former House Speaker Kris Steele, R-Shawnee.

Assistant District Attorney Gayland Gieger requested a gag order and said Terrill has publicly questioned prosecutors’ motives in filing the charge against him.

“Those kinds of things are designed to influence public opinion,” Gieger said.

Prosecutors also suggested that Terrill surrender his passport, and Truong asked Terrill whether he had one.

“I’m sure I do. I don’t know where it is,” Terrill replied.