Criminal Charge: Two drug trafficking charges after two prior felony drug convictions
Case: State v. Carl Rogers
Court: [CF-06-462] [Tulsa County] and [CF-06-44] [Washington County]
Result: Reduced to Possession with Intent, 15- & 12-year sentences run concurrently
A case that involved hard litigation to achieve a “good” result involving prison time, Mr. Rogers was first charged in Tulsa County with trafficking in meth. Weeks later he picked up another trafficking meth charge in Washington County. His several prior felony convictions threatened to significantly increase his sentences. The evidence was difficult in both cases.
Trafficking is a severe charge. It is worse even than the so-called “85% crimes” in Oklahoma that require serving 85% of the sentence before discharge, because the trafficking statute denies Department of Corrections “good-time credits”. [See 63 O.S. 2-415 [D]]. As a result, a trafficking convict serves about 90% of his sentence before discharge….
Tulsa County quickly offered to plea down to possession with intent to distribute and a 12 year sentence – a sentence that can be discharged in about 5 years. Washington County, however, refused to budge from the trafficking charge and would offer only a 30 year sentence.
It got interesting. After prosecutor Scott Julian reneged on a discovery agreement, Haslam and he exchanged harsh words outside the courtroom and the prosecutor threatened to arrest Haslam unless he apologized. No apology ensued, of course, but the prosecutor referred to the exchange in a hearing with the trial judge weeks later that suggested there had been an earlier, private conversation about it with the judge.
Haslam immediately moved to disqualify the prosecutor and the trial judge. The trial judge wisely removed the prosecutor from the case. Weeks later – after numerous hearings and motions pressing her own disqualification from the case – the judge stepped down from the case, as well.
With a new prosecutor and judge in the case, it quickly settled. Mr. Rogers pled to possession with intent in Rogers County, and his sentence was run concurrent with the Tulsa County sentence imposed weeks earlier. He should discharge both cases in about 5 years.