David Prater Gets It? and Just Say No to Stipulations

When two of his prosecutors got caught hiding Brady Material, Oklahoma County DA David Prater issued a press release, reading in part:

I recognize that this is not a one-time occurrence. There is no telling how many cases have been tainted by Pam Kimbrough and Stephanie Miller’s concealment of exculpatory evidence. There is no telling how many people have had unfair trials in this county because Pam Kimbrough and Stephanie Miller could not follow the simplest of rules. There is no telling how many people have pleaded guilty in this county because Pam Kimbrough and Stephanie Miller disregarded their Constitutional and ethical obligations.

Pam Kimbrough has been in a leadership position with this office since I was elected in 2007. There is no telling whether other young lawyers have learned from her the wrong way to do things, nor whether defendants have pleaded guilty or lost at trial as a result.

I have asked Chief Public Defender Robert Ravitz to arrange a continuing legal education program on the subject of prosecutorial ethics. Every lawyer in this office, including me, will attend, and will take it seriously. Until I am certain that the rot has been excised, no part of the state’s file in any case will be withheld from defense counsel.

That is going forward, and that is the easy part. I also have an obligation to look back, and to try to correct any injustices that may have been done on my watch. I have brought in outside counsel to review all of this office’s cases for the last five years. There’s no way that they can do it alone. They will be contacting defense counsel on each case and asking that defense counsel review the State’s file in its entirety and advise if they believe that anything exculpatory was not timely revealed. Outside counsel will investigate any allegation that Brady material was withheld.

Wait. No, he didn’t. He fired Kimbrough and Miller and referred them to the AG for possible prosecution. Which is huge and unprecedented, don’t get me wrong, but only the tip of the iceberg for correcting the problem either prospectively or retrospectively. One might get the impression from reading Prater’s press release that this was a one-shot deal that Prater has taken care of, making the courthouse safe for the law-abiding people of Oklahoma County.

We know that’s not the case.

It doesn’t sound like the DA’s Office was the only agency to drop the ball here:

The joint investigation confirmed that the witness did make a statement to the assistant district attorneys that was materially inconsistent to his original statement made to the Oklahoma City Police Department…. The assistant district attorneys allowed defense counsel to stipulate to the witness’s testimony without including the subsequent inconsistent statement.

The defense stipulated to an inculpatory witness’s testimony? They allowed the government to present the testimony to the jury outside the crucible of cross-examination?

Even assuming that they had investigated properly and the witness had told the defense investigators the same story he had told the OKCPD, why would they have done that? If I were Oklahoma County Chief Public Defender Paul Ravitz, that’s what I’d be investigating next.

11 responses to “David Prater Gets It? and Just Say No to Stipulations”

  1. I’m often asked why I take such joy whenever a prosecutor, cop, or a judge is charged with a crime. And I always say it is because all of them at some point or another are responsible for a wrongful conviction. And once a prosecutor takes a case from an officer, most will hide any exculpatory evidence they happen to stumble across.

    How many times have we heard “it was in the file, his attorney should have seen it”? Like that somehow makes it okay and absolves them of any responsibility for a wrongful conviction. Those who believe this have shit for character.

    I honestly don’t believe there is a prosecutor or a former prosecutor who hasn’t committed a Brady violation. Every prosecutor aspires to be a judge. And they all want the endorsement of the police unions to further their ambition, so they’re not about to raise an issue which would alienate an officer who they know to be a liar.

  2. Even with the caveat re: defense counsel, the main point is amazing. Thirty years in, I have never heard such in a public announcement from a DA. Compare and contrast to the situation / response in Williamson County, as just one example.

  3. At this juncture in history, applauding a DA for doing right seems a particularly worthwhile endeaver. There are other issues, but to raise them detracts from the goal. Of course, that’s my goal, to get prosecutors to do the right thing, and I’m willing to forego collateral commentary in order to achieve my primary goal.

    There are plenty of opportunities to lambast lawyers for incompetence and error, but a chance to applaud a DA for something like this is rare. It shouldn’t be squandered.

  4. Mr. B., I’m not sure if it’s the title of the Post or because it’s an Oklahoma issue as to why the Comment Section hasn’t blown the F-UP? I bet if you re-posted it under something like, District Attorney Fires ADAs for Violating Brady – (vows to clean house and rectify all wrongs on his watch) we’d see more play. Regardless of that, the most important thing(s) seems to have already been addressed. I for one, hope he truly gets it.

    *Due to Mr. Greefield reminding us “…a chance to applaud a DA for something like this is rare. It shouldn’t be squandered.” I’m compelled to ask that this rare action be rewarded in many more ways than just bloggingaboutit. Oklahoma County DA David Prater, could become a posterchild for other DA offices. He’s the only one (so far) to punish (fire) scumbag ADAs for concealing exculpatory evidence & he should be recognized. But, failure to follow up with criminal charges filed against Pam Kimbrough and Stephanie Miller should reduce any rewards to merely Updates regarding his CYA actions without any real consequences. Without criminal charges on the heels of firing for withholding Brady Material does nothing to prevent others from following the path of corruption.

    As for today, he’s a Public Hero and not just for Oklahoma for he represents the Criminal Justice System as a whole. Thanks.

    • Why, its a game David Prater plays & its to cover up something he took part in because I know back in 2012 there was an arrest for charges of Murder in the 1st degree which instantly attorney Derek Chance jumped in to defend that case & it was really all orchestrated so they could look like they caught the killer on that big case for election purposes with David Prater is how they put it to me. They fired 2 police officers for fraud on that case but thats because i never shared the rest. But the officer knew Luis Ruiz had beeen in jail those dates & I shared those papers with that lawyer also that first few weeks after his arrest. They did not plan on letting him out & it took them 7 months to find there own paper flow that I given them from day 1. IF I HAD NOT GONE ALL OVER THE iNTERNET THEN THEY WOULD NOT OF EVER STOPPED THAT CASE & SENT SOMEONE THEY KNEW INNOCENT TO PRISON. Of course at the end David Prater takes recognition for dropping that case, as if that was his plan, & firing the 2 officcers that fudged the case. HOLY SHIT.. , THOSE 2 OFFICERS WERE FIRED & WITH PAID LEAVE. Thats like not firing them at all silly.. ..

  5. I am one of those other victims of Pam Kimbrough she did the same thing to me and because of that I was allowed to be a charged with a crime I did not commit. She also engaged the help of Reagan Vincent ADA and Julia Hartnell ADA who are also guilty of withholding exculpatory evidence in a criminal trial. They were willing to lie and say they had evidence that never existed to send an innocent person to prison. I have no respect for any of these 3 nor David Prater who was notified of what was going on and refused to do anything about it.

    • Ms. L., as you are well aware of; anyone can say they are not guilty, name names and walk away. Sadly, the majority of self proclaimed (VOTS) that can prove it are ignored due to it (claim) having absolutely nothing to do with DNA, Death Row or an Open/Active Case. You have a perfect chance of getting your wrong righted due to Mr. Prater going public saying he ordered the last 5 years of his watch examined. Hopefully you’ll get your claim included and return with an update.

      *Mr. B., would you be so kind to let us know if there is a statue of limitations re prosecutors withholding Brady Material? Thanks.

  6. Its true because I defended a case once for a man arrested of murder 1 & while we were together officers had harrassed him a few times & we was together only a month & a half. During one of them times I had heard the officers state the fact that he was incarcerated the time of this person death but they still felt he had knowledge & what they were really after was not so much about the girl either. They threaten & later incarcerate him under charges of murder in the 1st degree for this girl’s death. I am sitting there watching the news & by what they stated they had as evidence on T.V., I already knew something was not right because it was changed. I went fighting this case & later beat it but come to find out, David Prater himself needed this case for elections & to look like he caught the killer of Carina Saunders. I had shown all the way up to him that this evidence was fake & the officers miscondunct. They still held him in jail & thats with them all having knowledge. Then the lawyer on his case, Derek Chance, told me to chill out because they could not let him out until after elections. Its true they eventually dropped charges but by then it was becoming news that Luis Ruiz had been incarcerated on those dates & the police knew this too. They all of sudden act as if they find the records & next thing I know they firing those 2 police but with pay of course & this as the OSBI picks it up. Thing is that I know also for a fact that the D.A’s office had become aware of the information forged on that signed warrent to be false as well, but yet they were going to continue prosicuting that man anyways. Pretty sure when he decided to drop case & fire those 2 officers with paid leave still.., it was because it stopped that heat ever coming to him & made him more of a hero. Otherwise he was going to be a hero by catching that killer & putting an innocent man in prison on evidence that was not even real. What throws me off is the fact that its all about politics & meeting some standard that brings them a bigger paycheck.

    The reason why they always walk away with no consequences, & likely even a leave with pay, is because its all a hoax & he took part in all of it & so he has to look good firing them & exposing them..because they were caught.! But he is not going to give them charges like a punishment because he likely had them doing it & he does run that office doesn’t he? It did not start & end with them & what motive do they have as much as he does. Trust me that I had an awakening on what these government officials here in Oklahoma County are really about & that was the biggest turn around in my life.
    Stacy Privett

    • They say not to be a prisoner of your past, but you are when you are dealing with the system.. !

      We had court today & it’s all over a possession charge which they have listed as Trafficking because that’s how they do things. They try to prosecute you as much as possible by using terms that don’t really apply & it depends on if they want to send you to prison or not. But technically there are so many ways it’s easy to get around inside how our laws are laid out.

      Today we went for a bond reduction hearing & instead of looking at the case these days, the District Attorney’s office brought up the charges he had on Richard when he was 18 & 20 years old. That’s 24 years ago & why should it matter in a case today? He was a kid then & those type charges have not applied since then either & so why does it have a bearing on his life today?

      He had finished his time for that & we are talking about someone’s life which has changed & since they been released they have had no charges referring to actual crime being done & all he has received is this possession charge.

      After being incarcerated now 9 months & after all the work we been trying to do., we asked for a bond reduction court date & finally got it. But at the hearing, although Richard’s Attorney Micah Sielert covered quite well the difference in Richard’s life these days, & he had been working & would be allowed back at his job upon release.. That Richard has lived here all his life & he has his family here too. I stand by him & a many many others do too. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY how this case is set at $58,000 although it’ was a possession charge which barely just hit the mark to be able to be considered Trafficking. That it showed no signs of distribution & there was nothing more than that & the defendant had been in that jail for 8 months & because of inability to pay, then the family had asked for a bond reduction. NOT TO MENTION THAT there had been no substantial reason for the search in the first place & so that charge, which gave probable cause, had been dropped without evidence to back it up.

      MICAH SIELERT did an excellent presentation of the facts & I was shocked to hear the DISTRICT ATTORNEY ‘John Brewer’ who came in & he took Richard’s charges that he had 20 years ago & used them as if they were a current case now… Never did he distinguish this, nor did he clarify what had actually been within the last 10 year period that supposed to matter.

      Richard had charges from 1995, when he was 18 years old & that was almost 25 years ago. The others were 18 years ago, & that’s the jist of his charges that hold him as a felon & as being a violent offender too. So hearing the life of an 18 year old gang member instead of even the last 2 decades, caused the Judge to decide to keep him at an outrageous bond amount that was not set for his current charges as a single offence, or within a 10 year time period…

      Richard has had nothing since his last release, besides this illegally obtained search & harassment, which did help lead him back into a continuous cycle that even I have given up on the system ever letting anybody make a change because Richard’s past will always define him & that’s all they give room for.
      And crazy as it sounds a case that is for others a misdemeanor charge they choose continue to stick with15 years prison sentence as the offer even though it shows to be a possession charge naturally & then even offered to reduce to that.

      Besides these old cases then Richard was only in trouble once & that was 7 years ago when he grabbed a toolbox out of the back of a truck. They have it listed as Burglary 2 & for that one incident in 2012 he was incarcerated 5 years, & now it’s another possession & they want to throw 15 years in it because of what he did when he was a young & that was 25 years ago. Richard grew up on SE 23rd & Central which was the very worst side of town. I don’t really have a record myself but I grew up in Moore where nothing goes on & I never been apart of surroundings being bad. His side of town was extremely violent & he has changed his life enough that in the past 18 years he was only arrested for this petty case & another, & the other had been 7 years back, which is nothing much. And for why was it all for when they use your past, which you done learned from, against you while you doing good.. .?
      (it’s always a life sentence with the system & that’s why stastitics prove that once someone has been incarcerated it continues to repeat itself)

      Why do they make sayings like these if are system don’t believe in them?

      (” We all have a past, the difference between those people who achieve thier dreams & the difference between those who don’t is they don’t let the past define them.”)

      (“Your mistakes don’t define your character, it’s what you do after you have made the mistake that makes all the difference.”)

      I have learnt that it’s always a life sentence & that’s what causes things to never change! That’s why all these new laws won’t change a thing either, because they find a way to not make it pertain to you. Once someone offends then their life has become that even after they finished their sentence & even if they been trying to change thier life.


      While everything they do has ‘just cause’ & officers get away with murder, even though most all those cases are unarmed men, & these officers kill someone because 10 officers feel threatened by one man carrying a stick!
      ( https://newsok.com/article/5575356/da-clears-okc-police-officer-in-fatal-shooting-of-deaf-man )

      I feel the 10 years after a sentence is already crazy because they give someone a 5 year deferred & then make it to where even 10 years after that it still matters. Don’t they mean a 15 deferred because a deferred is basically promising that you won’t get in any trouble for those 5 years or else you will do time. But even 10 years after then you get in trouble your gonna do that time still because that gives you priors & see so whatever they have you on doubles. So you best hope it is not a rough charge because it don’t matter how minor your prior charge was because enhancements don’t work like you would think here. Enhancements are not for repeating the same type charge like I thought.. . Enhancements come solely because of previous charge, or charges..

      Well, come to find out now it’s really a life sentence once you have had a charge because the ones they brought up at Richard’s court date which made him sound like a violent offender were the ones that happened 22-24 years ago. Not anything was mentioned by the Prosecutor in that case today that was within those 10 years back even. Otherwise he would not have those type charges to make his case sound bad at all.

      It seems to work because this is actually giving them reason to charge him with 15 years in prison over a possession charge,! So why not just call everything a life sentence & just leave it at that !

      You would think it would be based on your recent life & that’s why they say once someone goes to prison then it leads them back again & again. Maybe it’s not them & maybe it’s because we never accept their change & therefore never allow it to stay that way! .

      I guess its legal but the law is fucked up & people dont live all that damn long once adults. My mom died at 53 & so I might have 30 years to live as well as an adult. If you take a 10 year deffered & then add 10 years after that in order to say somebody has priors & use it to convict twice harder.., then you may as well of called it a 20 year sentence. Nineteen years later if you caught a case then they come back & use it on you in order to give you twice the punishment is crazy because you did your time for that case & been good for 19 years, & its still going to fuck you because thats how they like to do things. ???

      Allows for enhancement of sentence for those facing criminal charges alleging they committed a new offense within 10 years of the completion of a previous sentence. (Not the sentencing date, the completion of the probation or discharge of the prison sentence.)

      *** So they go by your sentencing date when they come up with the laws changing although you have not been sentenced yet. But when they want to convict you then your sentencing date is not what matters. I GET IT. THEY ARE HYPOCRITES.**
      Yours truly, STACY PRIVETT

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