Testimony to begin in Sooner Tea Party head trial

Ponca City Now - May 6, 2014 6:04 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Testimony is scheduled to begin in the blackmail and computer crimes trial of the co-founder of the Sooner Tea Party.

Testimony is set to begin on Tuesday in Oklahoma County District Court in the trial of 55-year-old Al Gerhart. The first witness will testify in the case shortly after attorneys present their opening statements to a 12-member jury that was seated on Monday.

Charges were filed in April 2013 after Gerhart allegedly sent an email authorities claim was intended to intimidate Republican Sen. Cliff Branan of Oklahoma City, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.

The email concerned a bill favored by conservative tea party supporters that Branan did not hear in his committee. It demanded that Branan hear the measure, "or I will make sure you regret not doing it."


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