Attorney for Earls says DA sought harsher penalty

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) - The attorney for a man who accepted a one-year prison deal as part of plea agreement in a child rape case says prosecutors sought a harsher penalty in the case.

Attorney Tim Mills says District Attorney J.B. Miller tried to convince 64-year-old David Harold Earls to accept a plea agreement that would result in Earls spending more than one year in prison.

Earls pleaded no contest in May to first-degree rape and forcible sodomy for attacking a then 4-year-old McAlester girl. All but one year of a 20-year prison sentence was suspended.

Judge Thomas Bartheld accepted the plea agreement, which has led
to a firestorm that has included efforts by two state legislators to change the case, an investigation by state Attorney General Drew
Edmondson and criticism from national television commentators.

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