News Column

Tulsa Cop Accused of Robbing Hispanic Drivers

June 11, 2013

Bill Braun

A nonjury trial has been scheduled for Aug. 7 for a police officer who is accused of robbing Hispanic drivers during traffic stops.

Tulsa County District Judge Tom Gillert indicated Monday that if the case of Marvin Blades Jr. is not resolved by plea agreement when the parties return to court next week, then the case will proceed to the bench trial.

On April 25, Blades waived his right to a jury trial.

A status conference in the case subsequently was set for May 6, followed by three more status conferences before Monday, records show.

Blades, 38, is free on bond. He has been on administrative leave from the Tulsa Police Department without pay.

It was disclosed in court that Blades has been offered a plea negotiation that calls for a prosecutor to recommend a 17-year sentence.

He is charged with five counts of robbery with a firearm.

A not-guilty plea was entered on his behalf previously.

The robbery counts involve allegations that Blades -- while driving his patrol car, dressed in a Tulsa police uniform and with a gun in his holster -- pulled over Hispanic drivers on traffic stops outside his assigned patrol beat, ordered them to hand over their wallets and took money from them before returning the wallets.

He was arrested during a sting operation in August 2012 after he pulled over an undercover law enforcement agent and stole $600 in documented bills that were later found on Blades, according to an arrest report.

A person who is convicted of robbery with a firearm must serve at least 85 percent of any prison term before becoming eligible for parole or release.

Bill Braun 918-581-8455

bill.braun@tulsaworld.com

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Source: Copyright Tulsa World (OK) 2013


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