Defense to present evidence for ex-Okla. senator

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK. (AP) - Defense attorneys will start presenting evidence in the federal bribery and extortion trial of the former leader of the Oklahoma Senate.

Defense witnesses will begin testifying Monday in the trial of former Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan.

Morgan is accused of illegally accepting more than $400,000 from three companies that sought his influence on legislation between 2005 and 2008. He has pleaded not guilty to bribery, extortion, conspiracy and mail fraud.

Morgan is accused of conspiring with attorney N. Martin Stringer, who faces extortion and other charges. Stringer has also pleaded not guilty.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Robin Cauthron dismissed half of the counts against Stringer and all counts against lobbyist William Andrew Skeith, who was also charged in the case. Cauthron says the government presented insufficient evidence.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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