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April 17, 2014

Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

DUNCAN — Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

 Gay was scheduled for preside at the trial for Morales on  Monday in Stephens County District Court.

 Gay’s disqualification means another judge will have to hear the trial. Gay has presided over the case since Morales, 55,  was arrested in August. He gave no reason for recusing himself.

Morales is charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon for a shooting at the home of his former wife,  Rachel Morales. Morales is accused of shooting Rachel Morales’ boyfriend Kelly McKinnon sometime after 10:15 p.m. Aug. 18 at the home on Timber Ridge Drive.

Rachel Morales told police officers the doctor struck McKinnon in the face, pulled a 9 mm handgun and shot McKinnon in the lower part of his body. When police arrived, Oscar Morales Jr. was applying pressure to McKinnon’s gunshot wound, according to a police affidavit.

Morales is represented by Garvin Isaacs of Oklahoma City. In the motions hearing April 8, Isaacs presented concerns about not receiving compete information from the Stephens County District Attorney’s Office, including the names of all witnesses.

Gay said the discovery period, which ended April 4, was met by the Stephens County District Attorney’s Office. The updated information, including 21 additional witnesses, was filed by April 4. Assistant District Attorney Greg Steward said he provided a copy to Isaacs  in person, although Isaacs claimed he never received it.

“I didn’t get it and nobody told me there were 21 additional witnesses,” Isaacs said during the hearing motion. “The first time I saw  the trial information was yesterday (April 7).”

Isaacs had also moved for a continuance, but chose not to follow the motion in hopes of making the April docket. With Gay’s disqualification filed, it is unclear whether Morales’ trial will begin when scheduled.

In the report filed by Gay for his disqualification, Gay requested another judge be assigned to the case. District Attorney Jason Hicks declined to comment on the case and Gay’s disqualification.

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