The Tulsa World by OMER GILLHAM - November 30, 2010
Grand jury investigates police corruption: Read all of the stories, view a timeline and read key documents. A Tulsa man freed from prison as part of a police corruption probe will remain free despite initial confusion over his release from jail earlier this month. District Judge Rebecca Nightingale on Tuesday clarified the circumstances of 24-year-old Shiron Davis' release from Tulsa Jail on Nov. 17. Davis was convicted by a jury May 5 of possession of a controlled drug with intent to distribute, Tulsa County District Court records show. He received an eight-year prison sentence. On Nov. 16, Nightingale reduced Davis’ sentence to four years of probation and one year in prison with credit for time served, records show. In ordering Davis’ release from jail, Nightingale gave him credit for 385 days served in prison, court records show. But officials later learned that Davis had lost several days of prison time due to an infraction in prison and weren’t sure if Davis should return to jail to finish out the one-year term of the modified sentence, said public defender Lora Smart. On Tuesday, Nightingale clarified her release order, restating that she recognized that Davis had 385 days of credit for time served, she said. Nightingale said Davis’ release from Tulsa Jail was properly ordered and the jail executed the order. Davis is expected to appear in court Dec. 17 as part of his effort to have his conviction vacated or have a new trial granted, Smart said. District Attorney Tim Harris’ office reviewed Davis’ conviction because a key officer in the case has been indicted in the police-corruption probe, records show. Harris’ office raised no objection to Nightingale setting aside Davis’ conviction and granting him a new trial, court records show.
Harris’ office said Davis deserved consideration based on new evidence gathered by the federal grand jury that is looking into allegations of corruption within the Tulsa Police Department, the World has reported. In agreeing to the reduction of Davis’ sentence, Harris’ office cited the July 20 indictment of Officer Nick DeBruin, 37, on charges of planting drugs on defendants, conspiring to violate civil rights, possessing drugs with an intent to distribute and stealing U.S. funds during an FBI sting on May 18, 2009, the World has reported. “There is no doubt that the credibility of Tulsa police officer Nick DeBruin played an important role in the defendant’s felony conviction,” prosecutors wrote. “But had they (the jury) heard the information about the officer’s alleged criminal activity, the jury may very well have questioned the officer’s veracity and acquitted the defendant.” U.S. Attorney Jane W. Duke, a special prosecutor from the Eastern District of Arkansas, is investigating allegations against officers that involve stolen drugs and money, falsified search warrants, witness tampering, attempted bribery and nonexistent informants. So far, six former or current police officers and a former federal agent have been charged in the probe. One of the former officers, John K. Gray, 44, and the former federal agent, Brandon McFadden, 34, have pleaded guilty. Two additional former officers, Eric J. Hill and Callison Kaiser, have admitted stealing drug money and have been granted immunity while they cooperate with prosecutors.