State rests in Loftis trial; defense testimony continues Monday
Ponca City Now - February 27, 2016 6:27 pm
By Beverly Bryant/News Director
The trial of Ponca City attorney Scott Loftis continued Friday with a long list of witnesses testifying, including the defendant’s father.
Loftis is charged with two felony counts of conspiracy to bring contraband into a penal institute, a felony count of distribution of a controlled dangerous substance, including possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute, and a misdemeanor county of conspiracy to bring contraband into a penal institution.
Testimony on Friday began with Hollie Kelle taking the stand. Kelle currently is incarcerated in the Kay County Detention Center.
She described her relationship with Loftis, including messages on Facebook in August 2013 when Loftis asked if he knew her and if so, from where. Her response was “from Planet Earth.”
Kelle described her personal legal issues, which included charges of driving under the influence and possession and possession of a controlled dangerous substance.
Kelle said she expects to go to prison and has not been offered any kind of deal or reward for testifying in the Loftis trial.
During questioning by District Attorney Christopher Boring of Woodward, Kelle made claims of smoking methamphetamine with Loftis, Mark Prado and others. She said she had purchased methamphetamine from both Prado and Loftis and described Prado’s residence as a brick house in Ponca City, but she could not give an address or directions to the house.
She was questioned about a statement she made to Lt. Tom Duroy of the Ponca City Police on July 23, 2013, about buying methamphetamine from Prado and smoking with him. She told Duroy at that time that Loftis, Prado and other people were present, and she had known Loftis for six or seven years.
Defense Attorney Creekmore Wallace asked Kelle why she would have to introduce herself to Loftis in August 2013 on Facebook if she already had this drug relationship.
“ You’ve admitted today this is how you introduced yourself to Loftis,” Wallace said. “And now you are saying you bought meth from him previously? Is this what you said to officer on July 23?”
Kelle replied “I’m assuming so, yes. That inverview deals with things that happened at his house. Not at Prado’s house. I have no idea what all was said.”
“ Do you remember telling Duroy that Jennifer Rowe was at his house when you purchased meth?” Wallace asked. “You said Mark Prado was at his house when you purchased meth and that you sat around and smoked at his house when you made those purchases in July 2013. And you’re still saying in August 2013 that you’re introducing yourself to him: You don’t know where his lives and you purchased drugs from him there?”
Kelle said a friend drove to Prado’s house.
“ Did you go to Mark’s home more than once?,” Wallace asked.
“ A couple of times,” she said.
“ How old is Mark Prado?” Wallace asked.
“Older, 50 maybe or 40,” she responded.
“Is he a chiropractor? Wallace asked..
“ I don’t know,” she said.
“ He treated your parents didn’t he, and that’s how you came to know him?,” Wallace asked.
“ And he treated you as a child?,” the attorney asked.
“ Are your parents drug dealers?” Wallace asked.
“ My mom was, but she passed away. My dad doesn’t,” Kelle said.
Boring questioned Kelle further.
“ Was this (Aug. 23, 2013) the first time you introduced yourself to him on Facebook?”
“ Yes,” Kelle said. “Prior to that I had gone to his house.”
“ Was Prado a practicing chiropractor when you bought meth from him?” Boring asked.
“ He popped everybody’s back but I don’t know if he’s still working,” Kelle said.
Ponca City Police Lt. Tom Duroy was next to testify.
Duroy has worked for the Ponca City Police Department for 23½ years and has worked on the department’s tactical team. He became a Sergeant in 2000, and Lieutenant in 2007 in the detective division. In July 2013 he returned as a street supervisor.
Duroy has 3,500 hours of training. He said he has attended reserve CLEET training and then the CLEET academy, and is an advanced CLEET instructor in Oklahoma. He attended the criminal investigation academy in 2007 and was sent to the FBI academy in Quantico and graduated after 10 weeks. He said he has had no leaves of absence from the Ponca City Police Department, “not even a sick day.”
Duroy said he became acquainted with Loftis during his investigation of Terome Porter in connection with a homicide, and in an investigation of Porter on an assault with a dangerous weapon.
He testified that on Nov. 23, 2011, after he had gone home after work., he was called about 5:30 p.m. by District Attorney Brian Hermanson. He said some drugs had been delivered to Loftis’ office.
Duroy said he called the evening shift supervisor to have an officer take a report. Corp. Dana Wilson was assigned to go take the report. Duroy said that was the end of his involvement in that investigation.
He testified he was contacted by Kyle Hartwig who worked for the Eighth District District Attorney’s office in late February 2012.
“ I had learned there was a cell phone found in the Kay County Detention Center,” Duroy said. “He asked me if I could do a TLO (a way of identifying telephone numbers and the people connected to them) to find out whose numbers were on that phone. He brought records. We did the TLO search and identified people that were called and who had called the contraband phone.”
He said there were more than 100 calls and text messages on the contraband phone between Loftis’ cell phone, his office land line, Kayla Woods, Pam Miller and Pam Turner.
Following Friday’s lunch break, Judge Louis Duel conferred with Defense Attorney Wallace and D.A. Boring on arguments on the issue of statements by co-conspirator Terome Porter to law enforcement. The judge ruled that the statements were not admissible because Porter had refused to testify in the case, citing his Fifth Amendment rights.
Duroy continued his testimony about the contraband cell phone and his analysis of the extracted messages from the phone.
He testified that he analyzed the messages for key code words.
“ They don’t directly name the contraband; they use code words,” Duroy said. “Each has their own code words.”
He said one example was from Kayla Woods.
“ When Kayla was talking about making her delivery, she said she had more mail for Tyrone. Also soap and deodorant,” Duroy testified. “She also mentioned Jerome (Terome Porter’s twin brother), who was nowhere around during this time. ‘Jerome wants to know .. . wants to ask….’ There was some confusion there that they didn’t know which word to use. Jerome was a code word.”
Duroy was asked why he thought Woods was using a key phrase when she said she was “delivering mail” to Loftis’ office.
“ They can get mail at the jail,” Duroy said. “They don’t need to have an attorney to deliver mail.”
Duroy testified that on the day Kayla Woods delivered three envelopes to Loftis’ office, there were several text messages involving the contraband cell phone, Kayla Woods’ phone and one belonging to Pam Turner. Woods arrived at Loftis’ office about 5 p.m., and she had texted Loftis to say her ride had just arrived. Duroy said there were a few texts before the envelopes were delivered, and a lot more afterwards.
Duroy said he interviewed inmate Kevin Phillips, who had asked about getting a cell phone after seeing that Porter had one in the Kay County Detention Center.
“ Kevin was asking Porter when he would get his phone,” Duroy testified
A text message on Nov. 30 was a conversation between Terome and Loftis, when Loftis wrote that he had been sick with pneumonia and he didn’t get the phone because he was sick.
He also testified about an exchange between Loftis and Gale McArthur, his former law partner, about statements regarding a conspiracy.
“ They said it was a setup between the Ponca City Police Department and the District Attorney to set him up. They talked about it frequently,” Duroy said. “There was one text from Gale to Scott to ask if he was in jail yet. Later McArthur said ‘… I’m waiting for them to come slap the cuffs on me.” Duroy later said the text included “LOL” to indicate the two were joking.
Duroy said McArthur was convicted of possession of cocaine in 2010 or 2011.
The State rested its case after Duroy’s testimony.
Defense Attorney Creekmore Wallace called witness Mark Prado as Judge Duel evoked the sequestration rule and had other witnesses remain outside during his testimony.
Prado started his testimony by saying he would be 58 on Thursday and that he is not able to work as a chiropractor because of an aneurism he suffered in January 2013.
He said he knew Hollie Kelle as his patient when she was a child.
“ I treated her and her sister and Mother when she was about 5. I saw her again in 2013. Someone told me who she was and I said she was an old patient of mine. That was probably the last time I saw her,” he testified. “She has never been to my home.”
He said he knew Scott Loftis.
“ We have a professional relationship,” Prado said. “He worked for Boettcher Law Firm. I knew his parents and kind of looked after him.”
Wallace asked Prado if he ever used or sold methamphetamine. He said no to both questions.
Wallace then asked Prado about where he lives.
“ I got a divorce in 2008 and I’ve lived in a little apartment on Highland Street since 2013,” he said.
Wallace asked Prado about Kayla Woods.
“ I met Kayla Woods in 2013. I had heard her name,” he said.
“Did you present an affidavit to her?” Wallace asked. Prado said he had and he was at the house of a girl he used to coach in basketball.
“ I had gone to a patient’s house and that’s where I met her,” he said.
“ Who typed it up?” Wallace asked. “I did,” Prado replied.
“ Where were you when you gave it to her?” Wallace asked
“ Eric Collinsworth’s and Chad McDaniel’s house,” Prado said. “I left it for her and told her to let me know if there was anything that needed to be corrected.” He said she had it for a couple of days before she signed it in his presence. He then took it to Loftis’ office.
Prado said he saw Loftis regularly and knew he lived in a house on North Third Street that had siding.
“ Have you ever seen Loftis with a controlled dangerous substance or known him to drink?” Wallace asked.
“ No. His dad didn’t either,” Prado said.
Wallace asked if Prado had ever seen Hollie Kelle at Loftis’ house or Prado’s house, and Prado said no.
“ When you presented the affidavit to Kayla, did you promise her anything in return or any message from Scott Loftis?”
“ No,” Prado said.
“ Did you say he would put money on her books?” “No.”
District Attorney Boring asked about Prado’s house.
“ I had a divorce in 2008 and I haven’t had a house since then. I’ve lived in an apartment at Highland and Palm Street since January 2014,” he said. “I put my (chiropractic) license in inactive status.”
Boring asked about the affidavit he prepared for Kayla Woods, and whether he had any legal training. Prado replied he had no legal training but does know right from wrong.
Defense Attorney Wallace asked what Eric Collinsworth was doing while Kayla Woods signed the affidavit.
“ He had a phone and was taking a video. I didn’t look at it,” Prado said.
Wallace then called Charles L. Loftis, the defendant’s father.
Charles Loftis said he had been a lieutenant with the Wichita Police Department, where he worked for 31 years. He said he was in an undercover narcotics unit when he retired. He started with the department in 1979 and was promoted to detective. He worked in an exploited and missing children’s unit and then moved to an adult crimes unit. He then worked on a Special Community Action unit, he said.
He testified he completed law enforcement training through the Wichita Police Department and had numerous trainings in the years, including DEA training in Quantico. He worked in narcotics about 9 years.
He was asked about his relationship with his son.
“ He was a good kid. I never had any trouble with him except when he shot off some fireworks in the bathroom,” the elder Loftis said.
“ Did you ever see him under the influence?” Wallace asked. “Never,” Loftis said.
He testified that he had learned from his son that he had contacted the FBI. He said his son told him the Ponca City Police Department had done a search warrant on his phone and he had an FBI agent’s phone number and messages on the phone.
“ I contacted FBI agent to inform him,” the elder Loftis said.
“ Did you ever advise him to file grievances against the Ponca City Police Department?” Wallace asked.
“Yes, in March 2012.”
The father said his son told him he believed police were trying to plant drugs on him. As a result, he told his son to contact the Chief of the Ponca City Police to report the officer. He said when his son filed the grievances, Scott Loftis sent his father copies of both in plastic envelopes to keep in a fireproof case at his home in case something happened to him.
“ I have not opened them,” Charles Loftis said.
Christopher Hedrick, a special agent with the FBI office in Stillwater for 29 years, was next to testify. He said he met with Scott Loftis in February of 2012 to discuss allegations of public corruption against a myriad of people.
He said he had another meeting with Loftis in March after he had been served a warrant for his phone.
“ My number was on there and he was concerned that whoever was searching the phone would know we had talked,” Hedrick said.
Gina Handrix, the General Counsel of the Oklahoma Bar Association, then testified about a complaint filed against Jennifer Layton, an assistant District Attorney for Kay County, on June 22, 2012, by Scott Loftis.
She said she initiated a bar investigation based on the complaint and explained it was then referred to a professional commission that recommended filing it as a licensure case before the Oklahoma Supreme Court in May 2013.
The Supreme Court dismissed the case.
Stillwater attorney Cheryl Ramsey then took the stand and said she had worked with Loftis when they represented co-defendants in a rape case. She also became co-counsel in Terome Porter’s murder case after she was appointed by Judge Boyd.
She said she never saw anything inappropriate between Scott Loftis and Porter. Both attorneys withdrew from the case because of the behavior of a witness in the case.
Lab Associates owner Dick Bell testified about drug screen detection, blood screens and other tests, incluing hair follicle collection, done by his medical lab.
Under questioning by Boring, Bell said it would be possible for someone to pass a drug test even if they smoked methamphetamine as they walked into a testing lab.
“ I’ve been doing lab work for 36 years and you can tell when someone has been diluting by drinking a lot of fluid, because urine is clear,” Bell said “The lab would test the creatine level and reject it if it was insufficient.”
Jennifer Rowe was called to the witness stand and questioned about whether she knew Hollie Kelle. She said she had known Kelle for a few years and knew Scott Loftis represented her.
Rowe said she had never been to Loftis’ house and never used methamphetamine with either Loftis or Kelle.
The last witness appearing Friday was Shane Dunagan. He testified he knows Hollie Kelle and that Scott Loftis is defending him on charges of driving under the influence of drugs and a possession charge.
Dunagan, who has prior convictions, testified he never smoked methamphetamine with Loftis and he did not know if Loftis sold druges to Kelle.
The trial will resume at 9 a.m. Monday. Jurors were ordered not to discuss the case or to do any research or read articles about the case.