By James Beaty
An attorney for the former coordinator of District 18 Drug Court accused of embezzling drug court funds and property is seeking a change of venue for an upcoming trial on the charges.
Shannon McMurray, the Tulsa attorney representing Angela Marcum, is suggesting the trial be held in Tulsa instead of McAlester.
In court filings in the case, McMurray cites 10 reasons why she believes the court should grant a change of venue, contending Marcum can’t receive a fair trial in Pittsburg County.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma Assistant Attorney General Megan Tilly, who is also the new chief of the Attorney General’s Multicounty Grand Jury Unit, said the attorney general’s office is working on a response to the motion filed by McMurray.
“We believe the citizens of Pittsburg County should have the opportunity to judge this defendant and we and believe Ms. Marcum can receive a fair trial in Pittsburg County,” Tilly said.
Okmulgee County District Judge Kenneth Adair will make a ruling on the motion, with a hearing currently set for Aug. 15 at the Pittsburg County Courthouse about the change of venue and other motions in the case.
Adair was appointed to preside over the case after judges in Pittsburg County recused from handling it.
In addition to the embezzlement charges, Marcum is charged with conspiracy. She is accused of embezzling money paid in the form of fees and other costs paid by District 18 Drug Court participants, who had an opportunity to avoid prison or other jail time upon successful completion of the program.
District 18 Drug Court covers Pittsburg and McIntosh counties.
All of the charges Marcum faces stem from indictments issued through the attorney general’s office by the Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury.
In court documents, McMurray says the court should grant a change of venue because of pre-trial publicity in the case.
James Beaty writes for the McAlester News-Capital.