Opening statements set for ex-Okla. senator trial

OKLAHOMA CITY,OK (AP) - Prosecutors and defense attorneys are scheduled to deliver opening statements in the trial of the former leader of the Oklahoma Senate who is accused of illegally accepting more than $400,000 in payments from three companies that wanted his influence on legislation.

The proceeding in federal court will resume Tuesday for former Senate President Pro Tem Mike Morgan of Stillwater. A 12-member jury and three alternates were seated in the case on Monday.

Federal prosecutors allege Morgan conspired with lobbyist William Skeith and attorney N. Martin Stringer to steer bills on behalf of two of the companies he allegedly received illegal payments from between 2004 and 2008.

All three are charged with conspiracy, extortion and mail fraud, and Morgan also faces a bribery charge.

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

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