State vs. Sisney/Windstream update 11/23/2012

Update 12/8/2012:  The 12/11 ruling on the motion to dismiss has been reset to 12/28/2012.

Update 11/30/2012:  An entry was posted on the Windstream and Sisney court cases today.  It’s from the 11/19 hearing, and it says that the decision on the motion to dismiss was continued to 12/11, at the request of the state. 

Sisney and Windstream both filed motions to dismiss, saying that the grand jury’s term had expired two days before the indictments were issued.  The state responded saying it had been extended by the presiding judge, and provided the February 2012 Order extending it by the two extra days in August.  Sisney responded to that, saying okay, but the Order was not based on a “verified petition by the Attorney General…” so the trial court has no authority over the case.  Windstream filed a similar response, citing a case where traffic tickets were “not properly verified”.  The state responded saying the attorney general and the grand jury judge agreed in February that the term should be extended by two days, the defendants weren’t involved in the proceedings and have no basis to complain, and anyway, Title 38  O.S. section 29 says indictments won’t be set aside just for technicalities that don’t hurt the defendant’s interests.  The hearing that was scheduled for October 30, 2012 was moved to November 5, and a written opinion was scheduled to be read in court on November 19, 2012.

There are entries in the court cases that indicate the decision was revealed on November 5, but there are not yet any notes that tell us what it was, and the posted transcript document contains only the cover page.  😦   However, it seems likely that the cases were not dismissed, because after the hearing, the judge rescheduled the preliminary hearings in the cases to January 14-15.  If the cases had been dismissed, these hearings would probably have been just stricken, not moved.  The reason they were delayed was to allow the defendants time to review the grand jury evidence, some of which they have not yet received.

A few other details from various filings:

  • The appeals court ruled that Windstream could get their copies of the grand jury transcripts and exhibits without redaction.  It looks like the grand jury’s legal advisors approved this because there wasn’t anything that required relevancy review.
  • I wondered why Windstream couldn’t just get a copy of the grand jury’s evidence from Sisney.  Turns out there’s a law against that.
  • The State has filed to consolidate the cases.  Sisney and Windstream filed responses saying they don’t know of any reason they would object at this point, but they would like the judge to hold off on consolidating until they have had more time to look at the evidence.

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