Author: lawoffice

Not guilty

Child Abuse [Tulsa]

Criminal Charge: Child Abuse
Case: State v. Earnest Jackson CF-02-5279
Court: [CF-02-5279, Tulsa County]
Result:
Acquittal

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

Summary:

A harbinger of the career to follow, Haslam’s first jury trial was a court appointment to defend a dad featured numerous times on the television show “America’s Most Wanted”.  Compounding this challenge, the prosecutor, Dana Bogie Kuehn, had 75 jury trials under her belt as Chief of the Crimes Against Children Unit, moved on to be Presiding Judge of the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals and now sits on the Oklahoma Supreme Court. 

Tulsa County arrested Earnest and Kaia Jackson amid great publicity in their Tulsa home living with their four kids. The 1988 New Jersey arrest warrants alleged they physically abused a fifth child fifteen years earlier.

After charging both Jacksons with abusing one of the four Tulsa kids, Jonathan, authorities returned them to New Jersey to stand trial on the 1988 charges – where each took a conviction. Thereafter, each 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.

The Tulsa County District Court appointed Haslam to defend Earnest. The State offered Earnest – a 55 year old man – 35 years to avoid trial. With little to lose, it was easy for Earnest to believe in his young lawyer, plead not guilty and take his story to a jury.  After five days of trial and eight hours of deliberation, his first jury hung up.  A single, brave juror refused to cave during hours of shouting and table pounding that could be heard in the hall outside the jury room.

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 – Haslam exposed numerous statements by Jonathan insisting Earnest had NEVER abused him.

After seven days of retrial, THE SECOND JURY NEEDED 45 MINUTES TO RETURN A VERDICT OF NOT GUILTY.

Case Dismissed

Assault Causes Bodily Injury [Van Zandt County]

Divorce gets ugly. Haslam successfully defended a young firefighter against false claims of domestic violence – including an award of $17,000 in attorney’s fees – leveled by his spouse the same day she filed for divorce. You’d think this would’ve shut down the woman scorned act.  After the dismissal of these false claims, the ex-spouse of young firefighter’s new fiancé – represented by the same lawyer who represented the losing wife – determined to have another go at him. His new fiancé’s ex-spouse alleged the young dad assaulted him one afternoon when he went to pick up his own children. He filed charges with local law enforcement. And he asked for a civil protective order against the young dad.

Haslam cross-examined the ex-spouse under oath and the protective was summarily denied.  Moving on to the ex-spouse’s allegation of criminal assault causing bodily injury, Haslam persuaded the Van Zandt County District Attorney to hold off on accepting the case until he could prepare a binder of materials challenging the ex-spouse’s credibility. In particular, Haslam included text messages, e-mails, and the transcript of the civil protective order hearing in which he cross-examined the ex-spouse and caught him in multiple inconsistent statements. After reviewing the binder, the prosecutor declined to even bring charges.

Case Dismissed

Drug Possession [Dallas]

Ms. Sorto was arrested in December 2018 at her home after an alleged domestic squabble, a charge that was quickly dismissed. However, arresting Dallas Police Officers claimed they found meth on her when she was booked into the Dallas County jail. Curiously, the female officer who had searched her person at the scene of the arrest found no drugs on her.

Haslam quickly filed motions to suppress her alleged statement about the drugs at the jail and to suppress the lab analysis of the allegedly recovered drugs. The State lingered over and ignored these and other motions for months. The trial court even turned a blind eye to Haslam’s motions. However, all along the way, he quietly filed demands for a speedy trial. Eventually, in the Spring of 2021, Haslam stepped up his demands for evidence and hearings on his motions. In June 2021, he moved to dismiss this felony because Keila’s right to a speedy trial had been denied. When the trial court also ignored this motion, Haslam moved the case to another court.

Once before the new trial court, Haslam stepped up the pressure with new motions. At the July 27, 2021, and August 9, 2021, evidentiary hearings, Haslam persuaded the trial court to dismiss Keila’s felony drug charge with prejudice, which means the State can never refile it. And, all her court costs were waived.