OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A case in which a couple goes missing and a candidate for district attorney is accused of conspiring with her client, gets some clarity from a federal judge.
Vicki Behenna, former federal prosecutor and current Democratic candidate for Oklahoma County DA, represents Chris Mayes.
Mayes is known as the owner of Big Red car dealerships in Norman.
Mayes and an associate Courtney Wells were convicted of wire fraud in 2021.
While awaiting their sentencing hearing in May, Wells planned a camping trip.
She left for the vacation a week before the hearing and was not heard from for months.
But on Monday authorities found her and her boyfriend Brandon Landers in Mexico.
Two weeks ago in the district attorney debate, before the couple was found, Kevin Calvey, the Republican candidate for DA, insinuated involvement by Behenna in a potential crime.
“Two Oklahomans are missing and may have been murdered because Vicki Behenna was willing to submit fake documents to a federal court to get her crooked client out of prison,” said Calvey on the debate stage.
Calvey is a country commissioner and a former state representative.
“My opponent will say anything he thinks will help him get elected,” said Behenna on Thursday. “And basing statements upon truth matters not to him.”
The documents that Calvey was referring to are emails submitted by Behenna. Emails that would exonerate her client, Chris Mayes.
After their submission, U.S. prosecutors called out the emails saying the “newly discovered evidence is actually supported by no evidence at all.”
In new court documents, since Courtney Wells was found, prosecutors said they corroborated claims about some of the emails being fake.
Calvey said that Behenna must have known those emails were fake, but she submitted them anyway.
“It’s a matter of a situation where someone is committing a fraud on the court that’s corrupt,” said the Republican candidate for DA.
But in a hearing that took place Wednesday, the federal judge cleared the air about any illegal activity from Behenna. Judge Stephen Friot does not mention her by name.
“The court NOTES that the government does not allege that Mr. Mayes’ counsel had any involvement in Mr. Mayes’ s unlawful activity and further NOTES that it does not appear that there would be a basis for any such assertion,” said Friot.
Behenna said she was grateful for the judge’s note.
“The judge, knowing the facts of the case and knowing the truth, felt it was important for him to say there’s no basis, in fact, to even make the assertions,” said Behenna.
Calvey said this case will hang over Behenna’s head for a while.
The former federal prosecutor said she will withdraw from her cases if she is elected district attorney.
Despite Wednesday’s note from the judge, Calvey said his opponent is not exonerated.
“There’s still many unanswered questions about this,” said the Republican candidate for DA. “What did Vicki Behenna know and when did she know it?”