Tag: Tulsa County

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

CHILD ABUSE [Tulsa]

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.

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.

 

Case Dismissed

MANUFACTURING METHAMPHETAMINE [Tulsa]

Criminal Charge: Manufacturing Methamphetamine
Case: State v. Jason Rogers et al
Court: [CF-02-2866, Tulsa County]
Result:
Case Dismissed

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

Mr. Rogers and three others were visiting a motel room that the police surveilled from the parking lot. When he exited the room to the parking lot, the police confronted him by his car. When one of the remaining visitors exited the motel room door minutes later, the police alleged they smelled an odor consistent with a meth lab coming from inside the room. Based on this “bionic nose” argument, the police immediately commenced a warrantless search of the motel room and allegedly discovered a meth lab.

Haslam filed motions to suppress the search and to quash the information. Arguing Payton v. New York, 455 U.S. 573 [1980], Haslam urged the court that a motel room enjoys the same constitutional protections as does a home and that none of the very few exceptions for a warrantless search of a home existed in this case.

The court dismissed all charges after an evidentiary hearing on the motions.