Criminal Charge: Felony Assault with a Dangerous Weapon
Case: State of Oklahoma v. X [Choctaw]
Result: Reduced to Misdemeanor and Deferred Six Months
Because this young defendant’s charge was reduced to a misdemeanor and deferred for 6 months, it will be expunged and stricken from public record upon successful completion of the short probationary period. Accordingly, his name is omitted here.
Charged with felony assault with a dangerous weapon, a charge that carries up to 10 years in the state penitentiary, the Choctaw County [OK] judge originally appointed him a lawyer. However, when the defendant rejected the State’s original plea bargain, the judge determined he was no longer poor enough to deserve an appointed lawyer and gave him a deadline to hire one. Eventually the judge jailed him because he couldn’t hire a lawyer. [It’s against the law for a judge to look beyond the wallet of the defendant when determining whether a court-appointed lawyer is required, but that didn’t stop this court]. McMillion v State, 742 P.2d 1158  and Spain v. District Court of Tulsa County, 882 P.2d 79 .
His family hired Haslam, who promptly filed a motion and achieved his release from custody the day after he was jailed. Haslam then had the district court judge disqualified for refusing to afford this defendant a court reporter – the judge’s wife – at a motion hearing. Thereafter, he sued the City of Hugo under the Oklahoma Public Information Act for refusing to produce various police reports – this civil lawsuit settled for approximately $6,000 and the missing police reports were promptly coughed up.
With the missing evidence in hand, the Choctaw County prosecutor readily reduced the felony to the misdemeanor and 6 months deferred adjudication. The case will be expunged from his record.