Tag: Child Abuse

Case Dismissed

CHILD ABUSE

Criminal Charge: Child Abuse
Case: State v. Lallan Holt
Court: [CF-02-5666, Tulsa County]
Result: Case Dismissed

Oklahoma State Courts Network
For more details on this case, open the Docket View.

Summary:

Mr. Holt was charged with sex abuse of a minor child in both Creek and Tulsa Counties in November 2002. Tulsa charged him first, then Creek County charged him, but only Creek County arrested him. So for the next 2+ years, Tulsa County sat around and did nothing else until the Creek County charge was dismissed. Then Tulsa arrested him and started its own prosecution.

Almost immediately, it became apparent the case was weak. The Tulsa prosecutor tried to disclose little evidence and Haslam filed a writ of mandamus to the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to force disclosure of all the evidence Lallan was entitled to. In a bad decision, the OCCA denied the writ and the case proceeded to preliminary hearing. Under Haslam’s cross examination, the State’s only witness – the 15 year old alleged victim – admitted she had denied the allegations many times and had falsely accused another man of the same crime. Still, the judge bound Lallan over for trial.

Once in front of the trial judge, Haslam moved to dismiss the case because the 27 month delay in bringing the case in Tulsa violated Lallan’s statutory and Constitutional rights to a speedy trial.

After numerous evidentiary hearings, Judge Thornbrugh GRANTED THE MOTION TO DISMISS and Lallan WAS FINALLY RELEASED FROM JAIL.

 

Not guilty

CHILD ABUSE

Criminal Charge: Child Abuse
Case: State v. Earnest Jackson CF-02-5279
Court: [CF-02-5279, Tulsa County]
Result:
Not Guilty

Oklahoma State Courts Network
For more details on this case, open the Docket View.

Summary:

Featured numerous times on the television show “America’s Most Wanted”, Earnest and Kaia Jackson were arrested amid great publicity in October 2002 in their Tulsa home living with their four kids. They were arrested on 1988 New Jersey warrants – as described in the America’s Most Wanted episodes – for physically abusing a fifth child fifteen years earlier.

After charging both Jacksons with abusing one of the four Tulsa kids, Jonathan, Tulsa County returned them to New Jersey to stand trial on the 1988 charges. Both took convictions in NJ and both were returned to Tulsa to stand trial on the new Oklahoma charges involving Jonathan. In September 2002, a Tulsa County jury sentenced Kaia to thirty-five years in the Oklahoma penitentiary, to be served AFTER she discharged her New Jersey sentence.

Haslam was appointed by the Tulsa court to represent Earnest in his February 2003 trial. The State offered Earnest – a 55 year old man – 35 years to avoid trial. Earnest chose to fight the charge. His first jury hung up after 8 hours of deliberation.

It became clear at the 2003 trial that a great deal of evidence had not been disclosed by the State. After many motions and hearings – including a motion to disqualify the prosecutor for attempting to improperly influence Jonathan’s testimony on the eve of the retrial – the defense uncovered numerous statements by Jonathan insisting that Earnest had NEVER abused him. These statements were used at the retrial.

After seven days of retrial, THE JURY NEEDED ONLY 45 MINUTES TO RETURN A VERDICT OF NOT GUILTY. Earnest has returned to New Jersey, where he is completing his 12 year sentence.

Guilty

CHILD ABUSE

Criminal Charge: Child Abuse
Case: State v. Oscar Patterson
Court: [CF-98-5967, Tulsa County]
Result: Guilty

Oklahoma State Courts Network
For more details on this case, open the Docket View.

Summary:

Another case with nationwide coverage, Oscar was originally charged with murdering a step-daughter. After the conviction on that charge, Tulsa County prosecuted him for allegedly sexually abusing a surviving step-daughter.

Haslam defended Oscar in the second case. After a 2 week trial, the jury deliberated almost 10 hours before returning a verdict of guilty.

The evidence used to convict Oscar consisted largely of testimony by the surviving step-daughter that her sister – whose body was recovered in a field – had awakened one night and simply said, “He’s touching me…”, while crying. This is patent hearsay, but was admitted by the trial judge under the so-called “excited utterance” exception to the hearsay rule. The State argued that Oscar must have killed the girl to prevent her from disclosing child abuse, and argued that he merely continued the unlawful touching with the surviving sister.

Today, however, this statement would not be admissible. Under the U.S. Supreme Court decision Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 [2004], such hearsay is violative of the Confrontation Clause of the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.