Online petition calls to remove district judge from bench

SULPHUR, Okla. (KXII) -- An online petition is requesting 50,000 signatures to remove District Judge Wallace Coppedge for allowing a plea deal that let 36- year -old Benjamin Petty off with 15 years probation for tying up and raping a 13-year-old girl in 2016.

The petition has no legal bearing but is being used to get the attention of state officials.

"He should've gotten jail time for it," local resident Cheyenne Stanford said. "He just shouldn't have got off with a slap on the wrist like just some probation time and you're done."

A court transcript states that Judge Coppedge asked the victim's family's attorney, "Is this something that they know about, first of all? " Their attorney said they did.

Judge Coppedge then asked, "Are they comfortable with the plea?" And he said yes.

Later in the transcript Coppedge says he will follow the recommended sentencing because the Assistant District Attorney, the victims family and their lawyer agree with plea deal.

"There's nothing done for her," local resident Roy Sisson said. "She walks around just as free as he is - he should be behind bars."

"If that happened to someone in my family, I would be fighting for everything that I could," Stanford said.

We reached out to Petty's lawyer who tells us he was the one who proposed the probation sentencing because he had developed a case that could likely rule a non guilty verdict.

Petty's lawyer also says it is unlikely for a judge to kill a deal especially when the family has agreed to it.

The family's attorneys say they agreed to the deal because they were not provided any other alternative.

"Charged with anything in that nature should be at least 15 years in jail, not walking around free," Sisson said.



 
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