‘Literally in bed together’: Oklahoma man, 60, granted new trial after death of woman, 94 – after it was discovered prosecutor had sex with judge: Sex scandal could overturn hundreds of cases

'Literally in bed together': Oklahoma man, 60, granted new trial after death of woman, 94 - after it was discovered prosecutor had sex with judge: Sex scandal could overturn hundreds of cases

A man who fatally beat a 94-year-old woman to death while high on meth has been convicted of murder after the presiding judge and prosecutor revealed a sexual relationship.

In a 3-2 decision, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals ordered a new trial for defendant Robert Leon Hashagen III, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2021 after pleading guilty to first-degree murder.

Hashagen’s attorneys later appealed after new evidence emerged of an undisclosed sexual relationship between trial court judge Timothy Henderson and a prosecutor.

Hashagen’s case could see hundreds of others looked at again by Henderson.

Judge Timothy Henderson and one of the prosecutors in the case were convicted of first-degree murder because of a sexual relationship.

The majority opinion found that ‘the undisclosed relationship violated Hashagen’s due process rights.’

‘It is no exaggeration to say that the integrity of Oklahoma’s judiciary is at stake here,’ attorney James Lockard argued in a defense appellate brief.

‘If a man can be convicted and sentenced to death in prison in a trial before a judge and prosecutor who were literally in bed together, no Oklahoma citizen can or should expect to receive a fair trial in an Oklahoma court.’

On the morning of 5 July 2013 Evelyn Goodall, a 94-year-old gardener and keen bird-watcher, was beaten and later died in hospital.

‘Suddenly. I’m going to die. Please send the police. Please hurry. I’m bleeding to death,’ he told an emergency dispatcher, according to The Oklahoman.

Two days after the attack, Goodall died of blunt force trauma at a hospital, the state medical examiner said.

Hashagen, who was Goodall’s former neighbor, was convicted in 2021 of aggravated murder in the commission of a burglary.

Hashagen’s case could see hundreds of others revisited by Henderson

Hashagen was convicted of breaking into Goodall’s home and assaulting her before tying her up and stealing from her home.

Investigators said that around 6:30 a.m. on July 5, 2013, Goodall was sitting in the dining room of her home when a man knocked on her back door.

He threw powder at her and then assaulted her – taping her hands and feet, placing furniture on top of her to trap her and going through the house.

Goodall later managed to crawl to the phone and call the police but was covered ‘from his head to his feet in blood’ when responding officers arrived.

According to an affidavit written at the time of the incident, witnesses described Hashagen as a ‘doper who was the weirdest person in the neighborhood to watch’.

Hashagen was previously convicted of methamphetamine and firearms offenses. He also had arrests related to domestic abuse allegations, records show.

Hashagen admitted to using meth at the time of the killing and was a former police officer, authorities said.

Her DNA was found on Goodall’s bras on toilet paper after the 2010 theft case and again in 2013, police said at the time.

Defense attorneys argued at the time that Hashagen’s DNA could have been transferred to Goodall’s home because he visited it several times.

Goodall often borrowed a fan from the house where Hashagen lived.

‘Just because your DNA is in a place doesn’t mean you were there,’ defense attorney Clay Curtis told the judge during closing arguments at the time.

On the morning of 5 July 2013, Evelyn Goodall, a 94-year-old gardener and keen bird-watcher, was beaten to death.

Hashagen, who was Goodall’s former neighbor, was convicted in 2021 of aggravated manslaughter in the commission of a burglary. He admitted to being on meth at the time

Hashagen’s attorneys argued that the tape used to bind Goodall was common to contractors and handymen, and that Hashagen’s possession of the tape did not prove he killed Goodall.

Now, Curtis told CBS affiliate KWTV that his client is ‘once again presumed innocent.’

Co-counsel, Benjamin Munda, told The Washington Post that the guilty verdict was ‘the only right result.’

‘It will call into question the integrity of the whole process,’ said Munda. ‘So I think the court did the right thing.’

Henderson’s relationship with the unnamed prosecutor ended before the trial began in 2021 — but Judge William Museman wrote in the majority opinion that it ‘did not allay our concerns about the trial judge’s potential bias.’

The appeals effort argued six different points, the appeals court noted, but judges only needed one to order a new trial.

Henderson resigned in March 2021 after three female attorneys came forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against him.

He was never charged and described the sexual involvement with the two women as consensual.

“My judgments were fair and supported by the evidence and facts presented by the attorneys,” Henderson said at an evidentiary hearing in November 2021.

Hashagen’s new trial date has not yet been set.

Henderson has presided over several high-profile criminal trials as a judge, including former Oklahoma City police officer Daniel Holtzclaw, whom Henderson sentenced to life in prison in 2016 after he was convicted of raping and sexually assaulting women. in Oklahoma City.

Co-counsel, Benjamin Munda, said a guilty verdict was ‘the only proper outcome’.

Hashagen’s case revisits hundreds of others supervised by Henderson, according to KFOR.

Attorney Robert Gifford, whose client Aaron Thomas Brock was sentenced to 35 years in prison for robbing a southwest Oklahoma City motel at knifepoint in 2015, also asked for a new trial.

Gifford said Henderson oversaw the trial and that misconduct is now suspected in hundreds of other cases due to potential violations of constitutional rights or due process.

‘Did anyone get all the rights they deserved? Were they able to go through the process and receive fair treatment? he [Brock] Didn’t get a fair trial [and] He didn’t get a fair punishment,’ Gifford said.

The case was reassigned to a judge in Canadian County for post-conviction review.

‘The Canadian county judge found that due process had been violated, that the appearance of a sexual relationship between the prosecutor and the judge could not stand and reversed the conviction and set up a new trial,’ he added.

‘They actually recommended an appropriate punishment which he should have [have] Got it for the first time,’ he continued.

‘He’s getting close to the time, but it’s taken him seven and a half years to get there.’

The Oklahoma County district attorney’s office said it has notified other people whose cases were heard before Judge Henderson between 2016 and his retirement.

They said they plan to review applications for post-conviction relief.


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