Three people are in contention for the District 18 Attorney’s post, which will be vacated April 1 by current District Attorney Chris Wilson.

Paul Sund, a spokesman for Gov. Brad Henry, said the governor is reviewing files from three people who applied for appointment to the post.

The governor is expected to choose one of the three to fill Wilson’s post until a new district attorney is formally elected in July.

Wilson is resigning from the position to take a post with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Muskogee.

“As I understand it, each of the files has been gone over by the (Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation),” Sund said. “The governor still needs to review them and interview the applicants.”

He declined to name the applicants, citing personnel confidentiality laws.

If no one is appointed when Wilson leaves, First Assistant District Attorney Jimmy Harmon will continue running the office.

Whoever gets into the position will have a very busy schedule from the start.

In addition to any new cases, the new district attorney will have a number of old ones with which to contend.

Any time a new district attorney takes over an office, he or she must work with cases left from the previous administration.

Some current cases, such as that of Sidney Jackson, have been continued to the May jury docket. Others, such as the cases of Tonia L. Homer or Jeffery Allen Mitchell, were never set to go to trial before the May docket.

Jackson is charged with first-degree murder for the June 24 shooting death of Basil Lynn Grippando Jr. at Jackson’s Bache home. According to court documents, Grippando was shot in the head. Undersheriff Richard Sexton said the weapon used was believed to be a shotgun.

Prosecutors have never filed documents indicating they wish to seek the death penalty, according to court records.

Jackson has been held at the Pittsburg County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond since June.

In that case, defense attorneys requested a continuance so they could get independent testing of some evidence, Wilson said.

“The bottom line is the court wants the defendant and the state to have a fair trial,” Wilson said, adding that there are many reasons a trial might be continued. “If a defendant is not prepared and turns in a legitimate reason, the court will continue the trial,” he said. “The same thing goes for the state.

“There can be a myriad of reasons.”

Most of the cases carried over to May from earlier jury dockets deal with drug offenses, although several other types of cases were also continued, including a forgery case, a felony bogus check case and a child abuse case.

The cases of Homer and Mitchell were never scheduled for trial before the May docket.

Homer is charged with two counts of negligent homicide, two counts of failure to use a child restraint, driving with a revoked driver’s license and failure to carry insurance verification.

Each of the charges is a misdemeanor stemming from a May 10 accident.

Mitchell is charged with conspiracy to commit a felony, second-degree arson and embezzlement in connection with a fire that destroyed the McAlester Taco Bell on Oct. 16.

One continued case may not go on the May jury docket, even though it’s scheduled. That case, involving convicted murderer Garry Thomas Allen, is basically on hold until the United States Supreme Court decides whether or not it will hear arguments on a separate issue.

If so, the county case will continue until the Supreme Court reaches a decision. If not, a county jury will have to determine if Allen is competent for execution.

“We haven’t been able to do anything on this,” Wilson said. “We’re not able to until we know what the Supreme Court decides.”

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