OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater fires two of his prosecutors for alleged unethical behavior.
The former prosecutors accused of wrongdoing are Pam Kimbrough and Stephanie Miller.
It all started in August 2010 when Oklahoma City police investigated a late-night stabbing.
Billy Michael Thompson is charged with murder accused of stabbing Manuel Sanchez to death.
During trial last month in Oklahoma County court, a jury convicted Thompson of the crime, but only after prosecutors Miller and Kimbrough allegedly misled the public defenders office by failing to inform the defense one witness changed his story.
“The constitution ensures everyone gets a fair trial. In order to be fair, the defense has to have the same information as prosecutors, whether they like it or not,” attorney Jacqui Ford said.
Ford points out, from former Judge Tammy Bass-Lesure to lawmakers Randy Terrill and Debbe Leftwich, District Attorney David Prater has made lots of headlines prosecuting cases of alleged public corruption.
That left Prater with little choice but to fire his assistants when it came to wrongdoing in his own office.
“The allegations against the attorneys are strong. If true, he had no choice. They can’t continue to prosecute criminal cases,” Ford said.
In his first statement on the issue, Prater wrote, “Prosecutors must be different than any other type of attorney. We are duty-bound to seek justice, period. That duty includes protecting the constitutional rights of criminal suspects. To protect the integrity of this office, and most importantly, our justice system, I have taken swift and definitive action.”
As for any criminal charges, Prater added he is forwarding the investigation to the Oklahoma Bar Association and the State Attorney General’s Office.