We're learning more about the arrest of a key witness in the Richard Glossip case. It is a case Glossip's defenders are calling witness intimidation, but a practice some Oklahoma City attorneys tell us is uncommon or illegal.
On Monday, Glossip's attorneys filed a supplemental report with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals. That report included a notarized copy of an affidavit signed by Michael Scott. Scott said he is prepared to testify he heard Justin Sneed brag about the murder he committed and tell other inmates at Joseph Harp Correctional Center he set Glossip up. Attorneys also filed another affidavit, this one from a cellmate of Sneed's from his time in the Oklahoma County Jail. That man says he is confident Sneed acted alone and says Sneed never mentioned Glossip's involvement in the crime.
A day after these affidavits became public, both Tapley and Scott had warrants out for their arrests. Both warrants were for violations of probation agreements with different district attorneys.
We went to Rogers County where Scott was arrested. Glossip's attorneys say Scott's arrest was arranged so Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater could interview him. In a court filing, Scott told Glossip's attorneys he was arrested at gunpoint, put in handcuffs and taken to an interrogation room where he met with Prater and an investigator.
We asked Rogers County District Attorney Matt Ballard if the motion to revoke Scott's suspended DUI sentence was requested by Oklahoma County. "There is absolutely nothing irregular about our treatment of Mr. Scott," Ballard said. Ballard's response did not answer our direct question. Eventually Ballard admitted his office did receive a call from Oklahoma County. "I never spoke directly with Mr. Prater, it is my understanding they contacted us earlier this week and just asked to be notified if we made contact with Mr. Scott."
After this phone call from Oklahoma County, Rogers County attempted to contact Scott. Scott had not checked in with the DA's office for three months and court records show he owed the county $195 in unpaid fees and fines. "We tried to contact his mother this week and she lied about his whereabouts about returning our phone calls and based on that behavior we elected at that time to proceed with the warrant," Ballard said.
Ballard denied coordinating the filing or execution of the arrest warrant with Prater. Scott was arrested at his home in Claremore, a two-hour drive from Oklahoma City, and says Prater was there to question him immediately after his arrest.
Claremore Deputy Police Chief Charles Downum told us he was unaware there was anything significant about Scott's arrest when he was called to assist. He said one officer did have his weapon drawn when Scott came out of his home.
Online court records show Tuesday, the day after the new affidavits were filed, Oklahoma County prosecutors also filed to revoke the suspended DUI sentence for Tapley. The motion says Tapley failed to comply with the rules of probation, but there are no violation reports mentioned in online court records prior to the revocation request.
Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater has not responded to our requests for comment on these accusations, but he told the Associated Press, "Very soon it will be clear that the allegations made by defense lawyers and their witnesses are lies."