Jury decides fate of former lawmaker accused of corruption
OKLAHOMA CITY — The fate of a former high-ranking state senator is in the hands of a jury. Deliberations began Thursday afternoon in the bribery and extortion trial for former senate leader Mike Morgan.
Prosecutors allege Morgan took more than $400,000 from three companies for his influences on legislation.
Morgan’s attorneys argue the fees were for his legal services.
The day started with both sides giving their closing arguments.
The jury then deliberated for about three hours before going home for the day without reaching a verdict.
Morgan is accused of prospering from his seat in the state senate, allegedly accepting bribes to fight legislation that might’ve harmed several private businesses.
Also on trial, Martin Stringer, a prominent local attorney is accused of conspiring with Morgan and advised one business client to hire Morgan.
In federal court, over the last few weeks, 42 witnesses were called to the stand.
“It’s always complicated when you have multiple defendants and multiple counts,” attorney Jacqui Ford said.
Attorney Ford isn’t connected to the case but says lengthy trials like this one always make it challenging for juries to reach a quick verdict.
“Testimony went on for several days. We’re two weeks in and like I said, with two defendants and several counts, they still have to come to a unanimous conclusion,” Ford said.
The biggest challenge for the jury, the defense pointed out there’s no smoking gun proving Morgan took any specific legislative action to achieve a specific paid result.
Throughout the trial Morgan remained in good spirits.
The defense for both Morgan and Stringer said the state’s case is based on innuendo and speculation not facts.