McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

Local News

October 31, 2013

Attorneys argue double jeopardy in Marcum case

McALESTER — Prosecution and defense attorneys in the Angela Marcum embezzlement case are locked in a dispute over whether six counts included in an indictment issued against her constitute double jeopardy.

Marcum is the former coordinator for District 18 Drug Court, which includes Pittsburg and McIntosh counties. She’s charged with multiple counts of embezzlement in connection with money, equipment and records allegedly missing from the District 18 Drug Court during the time that Marcum served as its coordinator.

An Oklahoma Multicounty Grand Jury issued an indictment containing the accusations in 2011.

Marcum has pleaded innocent to the charges.

The 2011 indictment accuses Marcum of embezzlement of public money, embezzlement of public property and six counts of “stealing, destroying and/or secreting a public book or record.”

It’s the six counts of “stealing, destroying and/or secreting a public record” that’s the center of the double jeopardy issue — a reference to drug court records the state alleges are missing.

Double jeopardy in this case refers to claims of being charged twice for the same alleged offense. The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits any person from being prosecuted twice for the same crime; it’s also considered a protection against the state using multiple forms of prosecution.

Prosecutors with Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office and Marcum’s defense attorney Shannon McMurray have different legal viewpoints on the matter.

The defense contends that counts three through eight, regarding the alleged missing drug court records, contained in the Oklahoma Multicounty grand jury indictment should constitute a single count — not the six counts filed by the state.

Oklahoma Assistant Attorneys General Charles Rogers and Megan Tilly contend Marcum allegedly committed six different offenses and that the six separate counts accusing her of “stealing, destroying and/or secreting a public record” should stand.

It could be a crucial point, since conviction of each individual count carries a possible term of up to six years in prison.

The charges in question accuse Marcum of taking receipt books or records which belonged to the District 18 Drug Court while she served as the District 18 Drug Court coordinator.

It’s the prosecution’s theory that the records were allegedly taken to help cover up missing money.

Attorneys are presenting their legal arguments in written briefs to District 24 District Judge Ken Adair, of Okmulgee County, who was assigned to the case after judges in Pittsburg County were recused from hearing it.

The state’s brief has already been filed by Rogers, who makes two key arguments.

One, the burden of proof regarding the double jeopardy argument should lie with the defendant, in this case, Marcum and her attorney, McMurray, Rogers contends in the brief.

Two, at any rate, the double jeopardy argument should not be applied in this case.

Basically, while disputing the allegations in the first place, the defense contends that if Marcum is going to be accused of taking receipts or other records, she should be charged with only one offense accusing her of doing so.

Adair had asked for written responses to the legal questions from both the prosecution and defense in the case.

McMurray could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but a worker in her Tulsa office said she had mailed in her response. It had not arrived at the Pittsburg County Courthouse as of Wednesday afternoon.

Judge Adair is expected to issue a ruling on the dispute after he receives all of the legal briefs and any other legal arguments pertaining to the matter.

In addition to the charges stemming from the 2011 multicounty grand jury indictment, Marcum also faces a conspiracy charge resulting from a separate multicounty grand jury indictment. She has also pleaded innocent in that case, which is also making its way through the court system.

Contact James Beaty at jbeaty@mcalesternews.com.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • mc-safety2.jpg OHP slates free motorcycle safety course

    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol will be back in McAlester to give a free motorcycle safety course on April 26.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Couple seeks to help homosexual community in McAlester

    A McAlester woman says she and her spouse are working to bring equality to McAlester.

    April 18, 2014

  • Look what's going on downtown McAlester tonight

    Tonight, area residents are invited to join other community members in front of the old Hunts building at the northwest corner of Choctaw Avenue and Second Street in downtown McAlester to listen and to play music in an open street jam, karaoke, cruise-in and to enjoy one of McAlester's two downtown districts. Set-up starts at 6 p.m., jam will be underway by 7 p.m. and at approximately 8 p.m. karaoke all the while cars cruise in. Everyone should feel free to bring lawn chairs and grills, instruments and music equipment, or classic, modified, modern -- all -- show cars. There are no contests or prizes planned, just community fellowship. 

    April 18, 2014

  • Police Badge MCC.jpg Detective's Dispatch: Buckle up

    It only takes a few seconds to put your seat belt on. These few seconds could change the rest of your life!

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • KTC Proclamation McAlester KTC students compete in state FCCLA contest

    Kiamichi Technology Center, McAlester Campus, recently participated in the 2014 Oklahoma State Students Taking Action with Recognition Events for Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4-18-BREAKFAST1.jpg Lackey: Challenge of today's church is to empower Christ

    Christians everywhere make up the Body of Christ.
    Tom Lackey, of the First Presbyterian Church, delivered that message to the fourth gathering of those participating in the Men’s Holy Week Breakfasts.
    Lackey spoke to a group estimated at more than 100 men and boys at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in McAlester on Thursday.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moon Shadow McAlester crowd gathers to watch lunar eclipse

    More than 60 local and area residents gathered to endure the cold temperatures and late night hours to witness one of Mother Nature’s celestial night shows Tuesday morning.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Luncheon speaker Hundreds attend ladies luncheon

    The 42 Annual Women’s Holy Week Salad Luncheon took place Thursday at the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple.

    April 17, 2014 3 Photos

  • Copper wire $5,000 reward offered after theft of copper wire

    A $5,000 reward is being offered in connection with a theft of copper wire causing some $400,000 in damage and causing a Savanna asphalt company to shut down operations, police say.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Crash south of Kiowa McAlester trooper saluted

    Trooper Sean Mass of the Oklahoma Highway Patrol’s Troop D, McAlester, has been recognized as a Trooper of the Year by AAA Oklahoma.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo