By John Greiner & Ed Godfrey"Daily Oklahoman" Staff Writers, 1/14/97
Oklahoma County District Attorney Bob Macy asked the state Supreme Court
on Monday to reverse a ruling that allows an Oklahoma City legislator to
seek a county grand jury probe of the Oklahoma City bombing case.
Saying a local grand jury probe could compromise federal prosecution of
the Murrah bombing, Macy asked the Supreme Court to either reverse a
lower appellate court ruling or stay it until the federal trials are
Last month the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals ruled state Rep. Charles
Key and Glenn Wilburn, who lost two grandsons in the bombing, could
circulate a grand jury petition for a probe into controversial theories
that the government knew before hand about the bombing and that other
suspects still are to be caught.
Key and Wilburn want an Oklahoma County grand jury to review evidence
they say federal investigators ignored even though two suspects, Timothy
McVeigh and Terry Nichols, were indicted by a federal grand jury last
"I'm very disappointed," said Key, R-Oklahoma City, of this latest
development Monday. "I think most people are disappointed, except for
Oklahoma County District Judge Dan Owens ruled against Key and Wilburn
on their grand jury petition request and their subsequent amended
Wilburn's grandsons, Chase Smith, 3, and Colton Smith, 2, were killed in
the April 19, 1995, bombing.
Macy acknowledged that Owens' wishes "had a lot of bearing" on his
decision to appeal, but said Monday he believes the Supreme Court should
decide this matter.
"I feel like this is an issue of sufficient importance that it should
be decided by the Supreme Court," he said. "Their decision is not only
going to effect this grand jury but every grand jury that is called in
the state from now on."
Macy said he hopes the Supreme Court will determine under what
circumstances a grand jury may be impaneled and what discretion local
judges have in those decisions. Owens' original decision in denying
Key's request was based on "sound legal reasoning," Macy said.
Owens ruled Key's "blanket allegations" were insufficient to impanel a
county grand jury.
Key said he had two conversations Monday with Macy. Key, Wilburn and
their attorney Mark Sanford will meet with Macy today.
"It's very, very disappointing to have a judge wanting to make law
himself," Key said. "That's exactly what this is all about. This is
about the people's right to have a grand jury impaneled."
Macy said he feared that having a county grand jury investigating the
bombing at the same time as the trials in Denver would "have a negative
impact on the federal prosecution."
Macy said he was unsure if a county grand jury was necessary, saying
Key's questions about the bombing may be answered in the upcoming
"So much of it depends on what the federal case looks like. If the
federal investigation has been as thorough as it has been represented to
me to be, than there would be no need for a second grand jury," Macy
In his petition asking the Supreme Court to take jurisdiction in the
case, Macy said: "The issues presented are of monumental importance,
not only for this case and the potential impact on the pending federal
case, but also for grand juries that will be called throughout the state
in the future."
Key's and Wilburn's grand jury petitions failed to state where or whom
to inquire, Macy said.
"This is the equivalent of requesting a grand jury to investigate every
unsolved crime in Oklahoma," the petition states.
The Court of Civil Appeals' decision erroneously stated it was improper
for Judge Owens to take into account anything other than the petition
itself when Owens ruled on it, the petition states.
"This decision flies in the face of reason that the presiding judge
(Owens), in his own district, cannot take judicial notice of the events
that are occurring within it. This is especially true of an event in the
magnitude of the bombing, with the investigation, indictment and pending
federal prosecution. Decisions are not made in a vacuum."
Macy argued for permitting a judge to use common sense in these kind of
"If the presiding judge cannot utilize common sense, what is to stop a
small portion of the population from repeatedly bringing requests for
grand jury petitions on the same topic until they get their desired
result?" the petition asked.
Even if a county grand jury is not empaneled, Macy still intends to
pursue state murder charges after the bombing trial is completed.
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