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State asks for more time to file secret response to secret hearings in Holtzclaw case

Former Oklahoma City Police Department Officer Daniel Holtzclaw waits to be interrogated in surveillance video released following his conviction. (KOKH/FILE)

The court may have to wait longer to hear whether the state feels the findings of a two-day secret court hearing should remain a secret. The public will have to wait longer, because while the court has ordered a response, justices directed it be filed under seal to prevent the public from accessing the document.

The Attorney General’s office is defending the conviction of Daniel Holtzclaw, who is serving more than 200 years in prison after being convicted of sexually abusing women while working as an Oklahoma City Police Officer.

Holtzclaw’s defense attorneys want the court to reveal what was discussed during the secret hearing they were not allowed to attend. The attorneys also cited a FOX 25 investigation that revealed the city initially destroyed emails from the police analyst who retired following Holtzclaw’s conviction. The city since searched the hard drive and recovered thousands of records it initially presumed were lost.

Separate FOX 25 investigations revealed the two-day hearing focused on that analyst and her testimony during Holtzclaw’s trial. Some of that testimony has been contradicted by outside forensic scientists.

The state is asking for more time to respond to the defense motion to unseal the records related to the secret hearings.

The court has not ruled on that request.

In a statement to FOX 25, Holtzclaw’s sister, Jennifer said:

“Today, the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals for an extension of time to respond to Daniel Holtzclaw’s motion to unseal secret proceedings.

This is beyond frustrating. Daniel's wrongful conviction is being compounded by more injustice. Time and again, the state Attorney General has dragged its feet on vital matters in Daniel's case. Daniel has waited 11 months for the state to reply to his appeal of his criminal convictions. The appellate process was derailed by blatantly illegal secret hearings on the forensic evidence in his case, which Daniel and his lawyers were not notified of until after they occurred in June and in which Daniel and his lawyers were denied the opportunity to participate.

Daniel's lawyers filed a motion in August, five months ago to unseal the secret proceedings so that Daniel and the entire public can know what happened behind closed doors when prosecutor Gayland Gieger, who disseminated false information about the DNA evidence to the jury and to the public, was allowed by District Court trial judge Timothy Henderson to question witnesses about crime lab analyst Elaine Taylor's work.

Daniel and our family hope the Court of Criminal Appeals will act decisively to ensure that justice delayed does not become more justice denied.”

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